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  • Betok

    Directed by: Sherman Ong
    Writing Credits: Sherman Ong
    Producer: Bee Thiam Tan
    Production Company: 13 Little Pictures, Paddy Pictures
    Format: HD (transfer to 35mm)
    Genre: Drama
    Estimated Running Time: 90 mins
    Status: Development
    Looking for: Pre-sales, Funds


    Ah Ping kills pigs for a living at an abattoir in a small town in Malaysia. Everyday he would head to his favourite chicken rice stall for lunch and to meet his sweetheart Suhaila Mei Ma. The stall is opened by Suhaila’s father, Farid Shah Ma. Suhaila and her elder sister, Subaidah would take turns to help their dad serve the customers while their youngest brother Sazali who is mentally retarded serves the drinks.

    Ping and Suhaila have been courting for 3 years. Unknown to them, Subaidah is also secretly in love with Ping. One day, Ah Ping plucks up his courage and asks Suhaila’s dad for her hand in marriage. Her Dad warms up to the idea of having an extra pair of hands to help him. Ah Ping next step is to break the news of his marriage and conversion to Islam to his own family. On his last day at work at the abattoir, his workmates decide to throw a stag party for Ah Ping at a karaoke bar. They get Ah Ping drunk for one last time and decide to dump him in Suhaila’s room. In a strange twist of fate, Ah Ping wakes up in bed the next morning next to Subaidah.

    What follows is Ah Ping’s journey into a loveless marriage to save Suhaila’s family from embarrassment, while the person he truly loves is stuck in an excruciating circumstance. Ah Ping, Suhaila and Subaidah rebel against their fate to tragic outcomes.

    Director’s biography

    Sherman Ong is director of BETOK (HAF 2010, Hubert Bals Fund award), MEMORIES OF A BURNING TREE (Rotterdam), FLOODING IN THE TIME OF DROUGHT (Centre Pompidou Paris), HASHI (Best Script, Singapore Film Awards) and TICKETS (Venice Biennale). Winner of the 2010 ICON de Martell Cordon Bleu Photography Award, his practice centred on the human condition and our relationships with others within the larger milieu.


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