Rajendra GourStill: Sunshine Singapore
The works of independent filmmaker Rajendra GOUR (1940, India) were brought to light decades after they were made, after he began volunteering at the Asian Film Archive in 2006. Gour studied film editing at the Film Institute of India, now known as the Film and Television Institute of India, and made a series of 16mm films throughout the 1960s and 1970s, which are believed to be some of Singapore's earliest independent short films. His first short, Mr. Tender Heart (1965), was shown at the Commonwealth Film Festival in London; however, no copies exist today. Eyes (1967), made during the Vietnam War, had an anti-war sentiment and was a critique on intolerance, while his films My Child My Child (1979) and A Labour of Love – The Housewife (1978) examine motherhood and family.
(all short) Mr. Tender Heart (1965), Sight and Desire (Eyes) (1967), Eyes (1967), Sunshine Singapore (1972), Labour of Love – The Housewife (1977), My Child My Child (1979)
Rajendra Gour at IFFR
A key early work in Singapore's avant-garde cinema, and the oldest existing film by Rajendra Gour.
I Want to Live
Social realist masterpiece and 1970s taboo-breaking, progressive work for its nuanced portrayal of sex workers.
Labour of Love – The Housewife
An exploration of a woman's work around the home as something of economic worth instead of her duty.
My Child My Child
This Labour of Love – The Housewife sequel considers motherhood as part, but not the essence, of womanhood.
Sight and Desire (Eyes)
An exploration of sight – and its limits. A gorgeous mix of essay and delirium.
A portrait of Singapore – which today looks stridently different, making this an important historical record.