Aiman is a 28-year-old Malay correctional officer who is recently transferred to the territory’s top prison. Aiman lives with his older sister Suhaila in a modest housing estate. At his new workplace, Aiman begins to take an interest in a 65-year-old sergeant named Rahim. Soon, it is revealed that the charismatic Rahim is actually the long-serving chief executioner of the prison. Rahim also takes notice of the principled and diligent Aiman. When Rahim’s assistant suddenly quits, he asks Aiman to become his apprentice. Aiman tells Suhaila of his new job position, but Suhaila becomes upset, as their father was actually executed by Rahim. Aiman knew this all along. Can Aiman overcome his conscience and a haunted past to possibly take over as the next chief executioner?
Aiman is a young prison employee whose career has been heading in one direction with a momentum verging on the inevitable.
Dir Boo Junfeng
Prod Raymond Phathanavirangoon, Fran Borgia, Tan Fong Cheng
Scr Boo Junfeng, Raymond Phathanavirangoon
With Fir Rahman, Wan Hanafi Su, Mastura Ahmad
Singapore-Germany-France-Hong Kong-Qatar 2016
UK Distribution Arrow Films
Presented at BFI London Film Festival
Then the golden opportunity arrives – the hangman needs an apprentice. Aiman’s drawn to the gallows for reasons that remain obscure, even to himself. Perhaps it’s his past, which lingers in his psyche and connects him to the mysterious executioner. For his second feature, Boo Junfeng keeps the drama contained, drawing a line from Singapore’s stringent capital punishment laws to the emotional damage felt by convicts’ living relatives. Wan Hanafi Su gives a cracking performance as the executioner, a man who lives his life strictly by his own rules. And the tension of the prison environment is stunningly achieved through sound design that makes every door hinge creak, and wardens’ footsteps and key jangling feel physically tangible, which all feeds into the nerve-rattling conclusion.