A unique methodology has been devised for this film. The documentary essentially contains 3 different kinds of responses:
(A) Personal Interviews with 4 groups of individuals: (i) ex-detainees; (ii) exiles and other implicated persons;
(iii) friends and family members of ex-detainees; (iv) academics and historians.
Especially for the first 3 groups of participants, it will be important to establish a level of trust since they will be asked to recall painful and potentially embarrassing events. Since the events themselves go as far back as three or more decades, the challenge is also to get the interviewees to talk about these events with a level of detail that would help bring their stories to life. To facilitate this, correspondence with ex-detainees has been ongoing for over a year and an archive of research materials has been made available to all participants.
(B) Discussion Sessions in which a group dynamic can be productively used to analyze selected documents and other relevant issues:
One of such documents is Tracing the Conspiracy, a two-part program first broadcast on prime-time television in Singapore on 28th and 29th June, 1987. Out of four televised confessions produced by the government, Tracing the Conspiracy was the most elaborate and for the casual viewer, the most "convincing". In the making of this pseudo-documentary, the detainees were coerced into making statements about each other. Group discussions on Tracing the Conspiracy can therefore generate unexpected responses and insights that may lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of coercion. These responses will then be juxtaposed with archival clips from Tracing the Conspiracy.
(C) Screening Session + Evaluations by Participants:
The footage recorded from the personal interviews and discussion sessions will then be edited into a film. Upon completion, all participants will be invited to a screening of the edited footage. After the screening, a discussion will be held and participants will evaluate the edited footage.
These responses TO the edited footage are no less important than the responses IN the edited footage. The complete documentary will therefore contain the film of the personal interviews and discussion sessions, AND footage of participants responding to the film of the personal interviews and discussion sessions.
The inclusion of this additional round of feedback imparts a new dimension to the film. Among other things, it allows us to depart from the rigid roles imposed on the interviewer and interviewee, interrogator and interrogated, oppressor and victim. On the contrary, by ensuring that participants can reflect, respond, and criticize the edited film, the unequal hierarchy that habitually exists between interviewer and interviewee, director and subject, audience and performer, can to that extent be transformed.