Interview: Director Boo Junfeng on Why He Focused on Empathy in Singaporean Oscar Submission 'Apprentice'
Jose here. Boo Junfeng’s harrowing drama Apprentice focuses on the fascination a young prison officer (Firdaus Rahman) develops with the Chief Executioner (Wan Hanafi Su) who becomes his mentor. Besides the unique professional bond they share, there’s also a secret about their past that lingers over their relationship. This is only Junfeng’s second feature film, and he displays the storytelling confidence of veterans. Despite the film dealing with capital punishment it’s not a film about this, but rather a complex character study which invites us to wonder why so many people make choices we wouldn’t do in a million years. The film which Nathaniel reviewed at TIFF, is Singapore’s official Oscar submission, so I spoke to Junfeng about creating the characters, casting the actors and why it’s important we watch films about dislikable characters.
Read the interview after the jump.