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Netizens school Alfian Sa’at for calling Crazy Rich Asians a “documentary” since it was set in a real place called Singapore




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Local poet and writer Alfian Sa’at was called out by netizens after he classified the movie as a “documentary” as he said that it was set in Singapore.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, August 26, Sa’at wrote, “Oh my if I hear one more person going, “Crazy Rich Asians is not a documentary”…then don’t set it in a real place called ‘Singapore’”.


Netizens were quick to point out his error, asking if movies such as Sleepless in Seattle or Mission Impossible were documentaries as well, just because they were set in real places.

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A documentary is defined as ‘a film or television or radio programme that provides a factual report on a particular subject’. The movie Crazy Rich Asians may have been set in Singapore, but it was hardly factual and skewed in its representation of the country.

In his post, Sa’at also implied that it would not be considered a documentary if it were to “take place on the fictional island of Wakanina (Population 5 million, 100% Crazy Rich Chinese)”.

His post sparked a debate amongst netizens, with most of the view that the movie did not qualify as a documentary.

Sa’at is the author of books such as ‘Malay Sketches: Stories’, ‘Cooling-off Day’ and ‘A History of Amnesia: Poems’.



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