TIONG BAHRU SOCIAL CLUB

Meet Ah Bee (Thomas Pang): an office worker who always puts on a smile for others. For his thirtieth birthday, his doting mother (Guat Kian Goh) gifts him membership to Tiong Bahru Social Club, a new kampong (village)-style planned community that algorithmically maximizes the happiness of its residents through an all-seeing artificial intelligence. When Ah Bee arrives, he also signs up to become a “happiness agent” for seniors in Tiong Bahru’s assisted living facilities, and even meets a sweetheart on the job. Is this where he will finally find fulfillment?

Drenched in color and faux nostalgia like a Singaporean Wes Anderson dystopia, TIONG BAHRU SOCIAL CLUB visualizes a world that has commodified and commercialized every form of leisure and self-care. It mines many of the technologies we use to manage our connected lives-digital wellness apps, wearables, smart home assistants, curated subscription services and social media feeds-as a source of deadpan comedy. Ah Bee soon discovers that despite the best efforts of microchips and men, happiness is never really guaranteed.

-Emerson Goo

In-Person

Online Access

Access Window: November 4, 2021 - November 28, 2021
Passholder Access: All Access, Limited Virtual, Supporter, Hale Virtual Festival, Individual
Only Accessible from: USA

Live Stream

Film Details

DIRECTOR(S)Bee Thiam Tan
PRODUCER(S)Junxiang Huang
SCREENWRITER(S)Bee Thiam Tan, Antti Toivonen
CASTMunah Bagharib, Guat Kian Goh, Jalyn Han, Mochi Mochi, Noorlinah Mohamed, Thomas Pang, Jo Tan
CINEMATOGRAPHERWan Ping Looi

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Film Details

PREMIERE STATUS: Hawai‘i Premiere
YEAR: 2020
RUN TIME: 88 Minutes
LANGUAGE: English

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