A few weeks ago, when the local movie production, Red Dragonflies was advertised and marketed via the social media channels, the trailer immediately strikes a deep chord in me, bringing me back to the past, my childhood days, playing and enjoying life without any stress, schooling and reaching for the future, receiving more stress and pressures. This is not meant to be a movie review, this is probably going to be an insightful, deep thoughts, emotions and ideologies pen down words, essays, paragraphs, testing my language and creativity. It’s about me Flying with Red Dragonflies ….
There were some scenes inside this movie that inside my heart, I wished I could go back to the past again, the scene whereby the young kids were playing along the HDB corridor, their auntie and grandmother was baking/cooking the egg rolls, the traditional and authentic way over charcoal fire. When I was a young kid, my eldest auntie and my maternal grandma used to do this in their backyard, being a young kid, I would play and wait for the egg rolls to be cooked fresh and hot from the special metal round skewers and munch it away. As time passes by, growing up, this became “lost” and with Rachel visiting her grandma in the movie, I realised that time will not wait for anybody, recalling that I promised to visit my maternal grandma once I was discharged from hospital when I suffered from a freakish accident 1 year ago, however, she went away somewhere else far far away and till date, there is a bit of regret inside me that I didn’t make the time to visit her enough when she was still on Mother Earth, regardless of the history, she will always be remembered.
When the 3 teenagers were exploring the Old/Abandoned Railway tracks, from the Teban Gardens to Sunset Way Railway Bridge and towards Bukit Timah (if I recall the scenes correctly), the scenes were moving from the present, back to the past, back again to the future, repeating and repeating. It might be confusing at times, maybe it’s meant to be confusing, however, if you are like me or around my age band, you would probably relate it, to growing up, searching, seeking through the studying years here in Singapore. It’s not just about being educated, it strikes into us, what does our dreams hold and where did we really end up? The trekking journey along the Old Railway tracks is the 3 teenagers questions and answers to them and Rachel returned to her roots, her younger days and probably trying to recapture her trekking journey when she embarked as a teenager.
While embarking on my personal project, to document the Old Places of Singapore and the Old Abandoned Railway Tracks being part of it and also part of where I grew up during my primary school days (I was living near the Old Railway Bridge at Sunset Way and my Primary School now defunct, the compound is very near to them). Immediately, I was able to relate to their trekking and my entries here would tell the stories – (Abandoned Railway) Track Photo Walkabout to (Abandoned) Railway Track (Part 2) Photo Walkabout to Railway Tracks Exploration Part 3. These journeys may not be totally the same as the 3 teenagers in their trekking, maybe we were all searching for something that I am and all of us are looking for.
At times, the movie was mysterious, insightful and intriguing, indeed, it’s mesmerising, capturing attention and publicity, reaching and gaining international recognition. It’s not just about the awards and accolades, it’s about something Singaporean, the growing up, fast paced changes to society, culture and surroundings, in the midst of rapid globalisation and commercialisation, and it is something that is not just unique to Singapore, it’s likely to be faced by all societies/cities/countries around the world too.