Saudade (2020)
HD video, single channel,
33 min 33 sec; cushions
New commission

Saudade is an aural and visual archive narrated entirely in Kristang—a creole language that emerged in 16th century Portuguese colonial Malacca. The film reimagines rituals and choreography characteristic of early Eurasian kampongs in three acts: a song and dance of the Jinkli Nona, a scene between a shrimp fisherman and his wife, and a cross-cultural encounter with the orang minyak.

Using folklore and myth as narrative anchors, Morton weaves his personal identity and allegorical storytelling into cinema to examine the origins of Eurasians. The intermingled Asian and European ancestry of the domiciled community is captured through the seemingly disparate appearance of a supernatural Malay legend alongside characters donning costumes that draw upon the conventions of Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch dress. Set against the exultant energies of the Eurasian imagination, the film tells a story of loss and displacement of a people and its language.

Artist will be featured in the performance Giving Manna to the Ghosts – A Performance Lecture on 1 February. Please click on link for more details.

Written & Directed by Russell Adam Morton
Produced by Amanda Zhang

Music and Sound Design by Syafii

Production Support by Pinwheel

Jinkli Nona Singer 1 - Trevor Nonis
Jinkli Nona Singer 2 - Megan Barker
Jinkli Nona Dancer 1 - Estioco Ignacio Jr.
Jinkli Nona Dancer 2 - Andrea Wong
Jinkli Nona Dancer 3 - Xu Yadong
Jinkli Nona Dancer 4 - Chloe Calderon Chotrani

Fisherman - Bunny Rodrigues
Maiden - Sara Federica Santa Maria

Orang Minyak - Ryan Chen
Eurasian Man 1 - Rocky Rodrigues
Eurasian Man 2 - Wesley Angel Fernandez
Eurasian Man 3 - Russell Adam Morton
Eurasian Man 4 - Jason Dehamel


Artist Biography

Russell Morton is a filmmaker with extensive experience in commercial fields of photography and videography. Click to read more His most recently exhibited filmic work was shown as part of Eastside Open Studios, featuring a collaboration between him and choreographer Daniela Monasterios. Drawing reference from Usha Devi’s book “creating with shapes”, the film featured dancers moving through the residential common spaces of Lengkong Empat. Read Less