Circa late 1930s, Boat Quay, Singapore. A young boy receives an old violin as a gift out of kindness from a foreign trader. From then on, it becomes a treasured possession as he teaches himself to play the instrument over several years, until it was lost during the Japanese Occupation of Singapore. After the war, the violin was found by a man working for the British Military Administration and given to his young daughter. The girl learns to play it and becomes a renowned violinist over the decades. She eventually passes the instrument on to her grandson, an accomplished violinist himself, who restores it and performs in a concert by the Singapore River, where the violin started its unexpected journey nearly 80 years ago.
Throughout the film, the violin graces different stages of Singapore - both figuratively and literally – as we see a young nation’s landscape evolve from a bustling 1930s to the dark days of the Japanese Occupation, followed by the sweeping political changes that lead to its independence and finally, present day.
Read an interview with The Violin director, Ervin Han here