Street Survivors

On the cultural oxymoron scale, the idea of a "Singaporean punk" weighs in somewhere between "Chinese democrat" and "Texan pacifist." Singapore is supposedly the air-conditioned Eden, as neat and ordered as the corner of a well-made bed. Forget teen angst and despair. Who despairs in heaven?

Royston Tan respectfully disagrees, and he has the footage to support his dissent. The 26-year-old director's new film, 15, explores the dark side of the Singapore story. Shot with a cast of actual public-housing kids rather than actors, 15 mixes graphic realism with quick-cutting, music video-style camerawork to reveal what it's like...

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