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Transsexual flick Bugis Street back in business after 20-year ban

Transsexual flick Bugis Street sees light of day after 20-year ban, relieved actor says he has been 'embarrassed long enough'

BUGIS STREET REDUX: Seah as Lola (second from left) in the movie that is based on Singapore's infamous transsexual hangout in the 60s.

After 20 years of being banned, Bugis Street was celebrated at this year’s Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) as the newly restored Bugis Street Redux.

The film about Singapore’s transsexuals caused major controversy back in the 90s and cast members like local actor Ernest Seah were ostracised in public.

Seah, 50, finally felt vindicated when this movie, directed by Taiwanese director Yonfan and starring Vietnamese actress Hiep Thi Le, recently garnered the crowd’s raucous applause at the sold-out screening at the SGIFF.

He said that he hoped people will finally realise that this was a film about a forgotten group of people that existed in Singapore in the 60s.

Festival director Zhang Wenjie said he chose to screen Bugis Street Redux because he wanted to celebrate how this made-in-Singapore film laid the groundwork for the resurgence of Singapore cinema back in the 90s.

So why did the Media Development Authority Singapore finally lift the ban on the movie?

The spokesman said that the film is permissible under today’s standards with an R21 rating.

Read the full report in The New Paper on Wednesday (Dec 9)

Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop

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