Please check out the film synopsis and character introduction @ Faervyille to have a better understanding of the film and characters before reading the below 😀
1. C.k. Outfit e.g. Jacket with Jesus hanging on the cross
2. A statue of a saint holding a gun in the film poster and in the school ( also seen in the film e’Tzaintes’s)
My different interpretations on what it means:
2A. The bullied or weak (represented by the saint) takes the gun to protect themselves from the bullies but end up being power-seeking and controlling like the bullies themselves. Using violence to solve problems. Fighting for what purpose? Can Peace be achieved in this manner?
2B. Religious groups using violence as a means of propaganda and forced conversion.
2C. The irony of sacred Religion symbolising something much sinister.
2D. The saint represents the symbol of the law (lady who is blindfolded and holds a weight to show that the law treats everyone equally).
Only this time, the same lady holds a book on one hand and a gun on the other. I interpret it as the law and structure being enforced into the people through education – book (e.g. what the school inculcates) and through high power and control – gun.
2E. Education used as a means for power and control through indoctrination.
2G. ” De Lure”- title on the book which means ” away from temptation”. is’t trying to say an education system that inculcates young people to be rigid and structured so as to prevent them from straying away to alternative temptations e.g. ideology, beliefs.
And lastly, what I think is another interpretation after reading an interview Tzang did with
“I care about the expression, sometimes more than the craft. There is also a Buddhist expression for this. Finger pointing to the moon. The writing, the film, the story, is the finger that is pointing to something. I don’t care about the finger. I care about the moon.” – Tzang
In english sense – it may mean taking every information you read with a pinch of salt.
In a literature sense – it may mean expressing the essence of what you say in a figurative manner.
In a philosophical sense – it may mean using the religious references as a guide, rather than reading too deeply into it.
“All words about spiritual values are just hints. Don′t hold onto the words as if they are realities..My finger is not the moon. Although my finger was pointing to the moon, it was only a hint..
And the followers of these fingers are fighting and killing each other. Mohammedans killing Christians, Christians killing Jews, Hindus killing Mohammedans.. The fingers may be different, but the moon is the same.
The person who seeks knowledge from these indications in the scriptures, in words, in statues is a fool. The search has to be inwards – because they are all pointing that the kingdom of God is within you.
And unless you go inwards.. you will not be able to hear the still small voice within you. And that voice is nobody else′s voice, it is your own. And remember, only the truth that is your own, liberates. Anybody else′s truth always becomes a bondage. “
“Projecting the role and responsibility of God onto the person with whom you shared…constantly looking to the “other” to be the mouth-piece of God … we are missing most of the equation. Encounters with the Divine are literally limitless in their expression, and to reduce them to the limited venue of human interaction only diminishes the ways God is allowed to communicate…”
Applying back to ideology, are we driven merely to make the other more like what we believe in? Because if that is so, it limits the purpose and the essence of the ideology which can be communicated and received through various means, not just through verbal enforcement.
As the old Zen phrase goes, “Do not confuse the finger pointing at the moon, for the moon itself.”
THE REAL MEANING (after reading Tzang’s article)
– The Saint holding the gun means the fear of losing control, which is why she holds on so tightly to the gun, because she is too afraid of losing the control she has with the power and fear the gun can bring to the people below it. The gun may refer to the authority/use of violence or weapons or simply put, CONTROL?
3. The Calvary (name of the fraternity)
4. Laer’s quote “ A lie so important it has been a god damn religion”
Covering up the secrets has become so important and desperate like how people value and fight for their religious beliefs very strongly?
5. Laer’s quote ” Born Again in Baptism Fire”
Burning down the wall symbolizes a new start for him like how christians are reborn in spirit and life when they become baptised.
Suspected Product Placement:
Canon EOS ( * update: “No corporate sponsorship and no product placements” in faeryville according to Mr Tzang’s interview with Mothership.sg in May 2015)
ANALOGY / THEMES
Dysfunctional Families Suicide Rape Elitism Homosexuality Bullying Identity Issues
Corruption Ideology Religion Drugs Parental abandonment and neglect Education System
Freedom of Speech Violence Terrorism Interrogation System and Structure Power and Control
Manipulation Sexual Harassment Deviant use of Social Media
Complex Human Relationships and Dynamics Peer Pressure
Mind Control (*reminded me of Illuminati) Morality Hierarchy & Class Divide Education System
1. Should Singapore cinemas be encouraged to run a minimum number of local independent films yearly?
2. What can be further done in Singapore to raise support or awareness of local indie films?
3. When we fight for a “cause”, do you end up blindly driven and lose sight of the purpose or do you actually know the purpose for fighting?
4. When there’s nothing wrong or right left in this world? Societal ideals become quite messed up.
5. Control and power may be a powerful tool to spread an ideology, fear and obedience. But without structure, regulations and norms, would it make the world would less ****ed up as it already is?
6. In life, we don’t have to take a side. There’s always 2 sides to a story. Know what you’re getting yourself into. Be afraid of what you fight for in this ****ed up world.
7. It’s ok to be a misfit.
8. We need not believe or interpret everything we know to be as the truth. The essence of everything we come to know can come from our vey own perspective like any other person.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE FILM:
– The depth of the conviction and attitudes of some characters e.g. Laer, Belle
– Novelty factor of controversial and alternative issues (for mainstream audience)
– Laer’s character ( Araon Samuel Yong’s natural deep and low voice as well as his facial expressions really gave depth and sturdiness to the strong character he was playing.
– Director not compromising on the vision and quality of his film with an 8 year, 14 script re-write effort, re-shoots and working under tight fundings (No government funding, no corporate sponsorship and no product placements)
– The underlying themes of the films which encompassed multiple layers of depth and purpose which challenges you to think critically on many issues faced in the world – It’s an encouraging sight to see both local films and the music industry collaborating to push forth the Singapore Arts Scene.
Lastly, The strong message of the film empowers you by not giving you an answer but letting you form your own answer.
What I interpreted from the core symbolism :
Our own “truths” liberates us compared to the perceived truth of others which we become slaves to. Everything in this world be it e.g. religion scriptures or what not are merely hints, not to be followed rigidly. If we look at it from another perspective, the finger may just be pointing at any direction, even to our noses. So what are we then really fighting for? When it only causes war and divide. When we free ourselves from the truth in this world we cannot depend on, it is only when we may find enlightenment.
There is no truth in this world, it all boils down to perspectives. The finger can be pointing at any direction just like how we can simply view things from diverse perspectives.
To check out our articles on Faeryville e.g. soundtrack, themes analysis, film review, click HERE
Written by: Cass