Eat to Live: Musings on wartime food

Lobster a la Bystander
Lobster a la Bystander
Lobster a la Bystander

The National Museum of Singapore presents Eat to Live: Wartime Recipes, a documentary on food musings of wartime Singapore

During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, from 1942 to 1945, food was scarce. The burning hunger then still leaves a mark almost 70 years later. Those who had lived through that terrifying era will be able to relate.

Despite the wartime circumstances, Singaporeans had managed to turn tragedy into ingenuity by planting crops in order to sustain themselves and to survive.

This documentary, Eat to Live: Wartime Recipes, shows the poignant and heart-breaking tale of war and the toll it took on Singaporean families. It also gives insight into what was eaten during those dark days.

Eat to Live is an insightful documentary on Singapore during World War II and wartime food
Eat to Live is an insightful documentary on Singapore during World War II and wartime food

War spares no one

The interviewees in this documentary come from all walks of life, and are of all ethnicities. Some come from well-to-do families pre-war.

Their descent into hunger and how they dealt with rations that were meagre, and even rotten, is well documented through their anecdotal accounts.

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There are also a few heart-warming stories of love, and attempts at festivities during
the war.

Food Dreams

Christopher Tan, a writer and food consultant, demonstrates the ingenious recipes that were invented during and just after the war, such as Kang Kong and Sweet Potato Lemak and Tapioca Vadai, between each anecdote. This makes it a completely novel viewing experience.

The DVD comes with six recipe cards of wartime dishes.

Eat to Live: Wartime Recipes retails for $23 at Objectifs Films, Books Kinokuniya, Books Actually and the National Museum.

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