What Is The Theme Of Tanjong Rhu

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The film Tanjong Rhu by Boo Junfeng is a recount of the notorious arrest of twelve gay men in an entrapment exercise in 1993. Being a conservative society, Singapore has meted out harsh punishments against the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) community. ‘Singaporeans are [also] disallowed from even speaking in public places about homosexual-related issues” (Oswin, 2008). This essay not only seeks to analyze this film, but also, use the Gramscian theory of hegemony to examine the challenges faced by the Singapore state government in promoting their ideas of a heteronormative family.

Unaware to many, Tanjong Rhu was a well-known gay cruising area in Singapore during the 1990s. Hidden by overgrown ‘casuarina trees, silhouettes
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More than once, Kelvin was deep in thought while reflecting on the reporter’s question. When asked ‘Do you hate anyone for this?’ with regards to the arrest of the gay men in Tanjong Rhu, Kelvin’s response of repeated rhetorical questions served to elicit a visceral reaction from the viewers. ‘Who do you expect me to blame? The society? Those policemen? Or the homophobes? Who am I supposed to blame?’ It is through these questions that underscored his marginality from mainstream society. The repression of his desires showed up clearly when the reporter asked for his feelings upon seeing his particulars being reported in the newspaper after the entrapment exercise. He explained that his father covered up his crime on his behalf, allowing friends and relatives to assume that he had committed a military offence instead. As (Oswin, 2008) noted, ‘juridical control may reinforce heterosexuals’ perceptions of homosexuals as the unnatural and undesirable’. This scene represented a powerful critique of the Singaporean society as one that…show more content…
She lived with him prior to his arrest and even visited him once after his release. In tears, Kelvin revealed that it was the last time he had seen her before she passed away. Shifting to the flashback scene, Kelvin opened the door to find his white haired grandmother standing forlornly outside. She earnestly grabbed his hands when he unlocked the gate. It was almost as though she was overwhelmed with joy to see her grandson again, despite her knowing of his sexual orientation. It does not seem to matter that Kelvin had been to prison and that he had committed an offence under the eyes of the law. The grandmother is symbolic of the public’s acceptance and understanding of the larger gay community in

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