Silencing Singapore

For Singaporean filmmaker Zihan Loo, the love that dare not speak its name doesn't require words.

BY Lawrence Ferber

June 04 2009 12:00 AM ET

Was he aware you decided to make a film inspired by your relationship with him?He was very supportive of the film. We were still in contact, but both of us had moved on to see other people. He was one of the first people I asked when I had the seed of the idea; I felt it was something I had to get off my chest and out of my system. A lot of times in an older-younger relationship people don't realize it's not a predator-victim kind of situation. It's a mutual exchange of ideas, and we keep learning things from each other. I think a lot of who I am today is actually from him. How he conducts himself, his ambition, drive, ability to communicate -- he's a great speaker and team leader. I was grateful to have him as a mentor. I would be a lesser person today without his guidance and generosity.

Is your relationship with your mother as strained as your character's?It used to be strained. It has improved. We communicated a lot more after [she saw] the film. She is much more accepting of my sexuality. We do talk about [my being gay] more openly, which does help. I think her main concern as a mom, particularly an Asian, is who do I know, who I am with, and when. When you don't talk about all those things she definitely gets concerned. But once you open up you are able to give her more information about your life, and the sharing is very important.

You showed her the film yourself? Was that awkward?Yes! It was a difficult afternoon, but I decided it was best.

Tags: Film

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