A THOUSAND WORDS UNSPOKEN
Cast｜Jeremiah Ho, Derek Ho
Producer｜Franco Di Chiera, Derek Ho
Cinematographer｜Poonpat Don Vadhanasindhu
Dialogue｜English, Chinese, Hakka
Production Company｜Yellow Fellow Films
Filmmaker Derek Ho travels back to Singapore to explore how the adoption of Christianity has changed his brother Jeremiah and his sexuality. It unpacks the reunion of the two brothers who took radically different paths in coming to terms with their sexual identities as gay men. Derek also intends to reveal to Jeremiah a secret that has been buried for the last thirty years. A Thousand Words Unspoken is a portrait of love and trauma, where two brothers find themselves navigating the space between trust, faith and healing.
Derek is a Melbourne based documentary director, cameraperson and editor with a master degree in documentary from the Victoria College of The Arts.
Derek’s recent work has won numerous awards and has been showcased at numerous international film festivals, and even made it to the front page of New York Times.
Series Producer Lindsay Crouse speaks highly of Derek’s work: “The film is a breathtaking combination of exactly what we’re looking for: a relevant and high-stakes story, intimately told, with a creative stylistic approach. It was a perfect short documentary to present to our global audience.”
Derek loves documentary filmmaking because it holds a mirror up to society and makes us ponder, converse and be held accountable as a collective. It is also through this process of making documentaries challenges him to shed the layers of judgement through his own lens and gets to learn as much about others and about himself.
While Australia proposes a “Religious Discrimination Bill” and Singapore criminalises homosexuality with Penal Code 377A, I want to shine light on the conflict between sexuality and religion and the damage it can cause to families and individuals.
As a gay Asian man who has struggled with discrimination from society at large and from within the gay community due to my sexual orientation and race, it had led me to an experience that was deeply conflicted with self-acceptance for a long time. I also often wondered about the downward spiral of my brother’s life as a gay man and his recent denouncement of his sexual identity, and how much of that has got to do with his traumatic coming out experience that was caused by me. I know deep down whatever happened in the past can never be reversed.
Making this film is the first step towards letting go of the guilt and to forgive myself while working towards reconciliation and acceptance with my family, especially my brother. I am telling this very personal story for healing and closure. I also hope those who have doubted their value and existence can find strength from my story.