On the same day we interviewed director Tzang, we counted our blessings to be able to interview 2 cast members from Faeryville, a Singapore independent film. Farid Assalam plays the role of Taurus in Faeryville. Check out Faeryville movie’s official Facebook page here!
You can read about the interview we’ve had with another cast member, Lyon Sim, here 🙂
Farid Assalam studies Journalism and writes essays on film reviews and political landscapes. He is more confident in verbally sharing his opinions, speaking straight out of his head over expressing it on paper as he is still in the midst of learning to enjoy the process of, as well as building up a flair in writing.
The most vivid memory I had of him in the past, was his dreadlocks which has now become a toned-down edgy mainstream cut. Though vocal and expressive, he is as opened and interested in encouraging us to share our respective views.
I was left quite enlightened after hearing his thoughts towards various social issues, interesting stories of his rebellious past and what led to his current change. He epitomizes a stark transformation from a once experimental teenager to a more grounded adult who has found a direction in life, guided by his religion and loved ones.
Memories of seeing him:
- Clicknetwork.tv – Room 101
- Haunted Changi
- Lifestyle News article on Haunted Changi.
1. Did the experience of making the film shaped your thinking as an adult?
“When I first met Tzang, I was in Poly. After doing this film, I starting learning different theories about analyzing films. I try to apply these knowledge into Faeryville without watching the film yet, but just by looking at the script, it suddenly made a lot more sense as an actor and person who watches film, and as a student as well. I realized the potential of this film to send a strong message to the audiences. As for me, it gave me a totally new perspective of the world through this art form.”
2. Like how the film characters fought for their own beliefs in this film, do you think it’s worth standing up for your personal or independent beliefs; or fight for an ideology in a real life context?
“I see a lot of parallels in the message of the film. The whole social and political landscape around the world and the message that this film sends – “Be afraid of what you fight for, Ideology can be a dangerous thing.
I think we had this discussion just now about how a lot of people, because of their experiences they go through and how it has affected them emotionally, sometimes, this had kind of de-swayed them from thinking critically and having a sane thought. They rather listen and agree and start a revolution for something they might regret later.”
3. On Chloe’s relationship with Belle (in the film)
“In my opinion, it reminds me of some reporters who try to get their story. But in this film, being apathetic with Belle, I guess Chloe is kind to Belle and look up to Belle as a senior and on second thought, there could be a side story to it.”
4. What is your take on Amos Yee and ISIS? Do you think he symbolises the characters in the film?
“Let’s begin with Amos Yee first. I don’t know him personally and have only seen a couple of his videos. I feel that he is a very smart boy. Yes, he has some similarities between him and Belle. So this is my comment about him – I think he’s a smart guy. He has a lot of things to say and a lot of fire in him and a lot of spirit like Belle to fight for his cause and a strong reason.
But you know right now he’s in a correction facility AKA remand for what he said, what he irresponsibly said about our dear grandfather who has passed away. It wasn’t sensitive. He’s a smart guy and it’s just a mistake and I think growing up, we all had a rebellious nature, and inside of us, we want to fight for something and you may step across the line.”
“For ISIS, I personally feel as well and generally, I think there’s a lot of phobia, agenda in the mainstream media especially and there’s this huge parallel in the film as well, like how you know in the scene of the nobodies – suddenly Laer was a bad guy holding hostage, and people were just generally portrayed bad according to a certain thing and in fact, but it might not be entirely true as well.
This similarly like how I feel about got how the Muslims were portrayed. In fact, I wrote an essay about making comparisons on how Muslims are being portrayed in the media. Remember the trio shooting in the apartment, Chapel hill shooting? And how this guy, the killer was portrayed like a madman whereas if it had just one Muslim guy pointing a gun at somebody, it could be branded as terrorist. So it is just this imbalance that can be, I guess what parallels are.”
5. Message of the film for youths
“Be afraid for what you fight for, and ideology can be a dangerous thing. To really go deeper into it, practice critical thinking, don’t just believe whatever you read. You don’t have to disagree as well, just be mindful, practice humility, sincerity, modesty and be a good person for the community.
6. Telling audience the impact the film can bring
If you strongly believe in this film and its message to the youths, your parents, to the kids, to your grandkids. You want it to be seen to your future. Talk about it, tell your friends about it. This film is going to tell a strong message to us, and people are going to like it if they know about it.
7. Response to a youth audience asking if there should be more direct humor in Faeryville
“Humour is just very subjective Bro… This is an independent film. If this film resonates deep down inside your heart and If it says something, tells you something and sends a message to you. This is the nature of independent film. We do not have big budgets to market it to people and share it out and tell people to come watch this film, come learn something.
This film is not just a Hollywood film saying “come lets entertain yourself with something funny”. If the 2 hot girls kissing is not enough … If the film resonates with you, this is what we need you to do, come spread the word, spread the message.. tell people what you like about the film, and you can also tell them what you don’t like. Thank you very much, and be specific to it, be constructive, you know this is an independent film.”
8. On general Singaporeans political mindset
“A lot of Singaporeans, we are so comfortable with our lives that we become apolitical, we don’t really exercise critical thinking. We just listen to other people’s opinions.”
9. Whether he feels personality tests are accurate
“Because personalities are very plastic, they can just mould, it can be very fun and loving and it can be…So to answer your question, I’ll say no. I think it’s a matter of choice and the external environment, internal environment aside, it’s a matter of choice.”
10. Is working with youths your personal cause in life?
“That’s a very deep question. I mean there’s no one line to say I’ll be doing this one line that I’ve always been passionate about. There’s a lot of people who have made a difference in my life, all about my thoughts, a lot of elder brothers and sisters who have looked out for me, and it is only fair I give back in whatever capacity I can to make a difference the young people’s life.”
On Singapore youths
He feels they lack the appropriate critical analysis. During discussion of issues, it becomes more of a talking point among friends and they demean people rather than being constructive. He sees a lack of empathy and sensitivity to other people’s feelings in the younger generation when they share their views. They should learn to put themselves in the shoes of others 🙂
To check out our articles on Faeryville e.g. soundtrack, themes analysis, film review, click HERE
Written by: Cass
Edited by: SY
[Offbeat Perspective’s Interviews]
Category: “Unique Passions”
Category: “Unheard Voices”
Category: “Public Interviews”
Category: “Amos Yee Saga – Citizen Journalism”
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