MAY 19, 2021 | UPDATED: MAY 21, 2021
SGP | 10 minutes | 2016
Drama short film directed by Stanley Xu
Starring Loh Heng Joo, Leighton Lee
Chinese title: 搖籃曲
In a typical Singaporean family of three, life is well and comfortable. Unbeknownst to them, the forgotten fourth member is feeling neglected and alone. The only comfort she finds lies in her grandson.
The Stanley Xu-directed Lullaby is a quiet, intimate look at a Singaporean family that often leaves the old and the young feeling forgotten. The film beautifully shows us the daily hum-drums of life, with a focus on the bond between a grandma and her grandson. And a reminder that we should cherish each moment.
The grandma (Loh Heng Joo) spends her days sleeping, feeding her grandson (Leighton Lee), and showing him old photographs of a life well before his time. He plays with this toys while his parents are at work and grandma rests. The boy’s parents are far too busy with work to care for their own son, let alone the grandma, and the two are left with each other as the days pass. Life carries on, and through conversations, we discover that the boy’s father suggests the family take a family trip together to Hong Kong, but will have to make enough preparations ahead of time so they can take time off work. But as much as the days seem to drag on, there never seems to be enough time for the family to be together.
Lullaby keeps things simple. From the stillness of the camera to the precise cuts, and the deliberate choice to never show the boy’s parents, only hearing their voices off-screen, the film allows us to observe the boy and his grandmother. But from the simplicity comes a delicateness and depth between two vulnerable, lonely people who are left with only each other to pass the time. And in the end, it reminds us that time really is of the essence.
Lullaby is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.
Director, Writer: Stanley Xu
Producer: Valerie Ong
Cinematographer: Eric Ha
Editor: Mavis Lai