From Mingguan Malaysia
Lelaki Komunis Terakhir goes to cinemas
By Noor Azam Shairi
Mingguan Malaysia. 30 April
All the controversy generated by a few people about the documentary Lelaki Komunis Terakhir before the film had even been written or shot will be answered when it meets audiences in cinemas starting 18 May.
The documentary directed by Amir Muhammad has received official approval from the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) for general viewing.
The approval, however, is only for three screens run by Golden Screen Cinemas in Mid Valley and One Utama, Kuala Lumpur; and Gurney Plaza, Penang.
LPF Chairman Mohd Hussain Shafie was recently quoted by The Star as saying, even though the documentary is about the former leader of the banned Communist Party of Malaya, Chin Peng, it will not cause any negative effects.
He said that the documentary did not propagate communism but merely used facts that are readily available in history books.
LKT uses those historical facts as a backdrop but it actually examines what Amir has termed as the "landscape" of this country.
"I am not just talking about the geographic landscape but the historical one. When making Lelaki Komunis Terakhir I wanted to know what this landscape called Malaysia actually is," said Amir in an interview with The Bangkok Post.
Before Lelaki Komunis Terakhir, Amir made the documentary The Year of Living Vicariously which examined the shifts of political consciousness in post-Suharto Indonesia.
After that documentary, Amir was inspired to investigate his own country, and coincidentally that was the time Chin Peng came out with his memoirs, My Side of History, which became the basis for Lelaki Komunis Terakhir.
Lelaki Komunis Terakhir which is described as a semi-musical documentary combines Amir's interviews with people from various walks of life and his observations and experience in several towns where Chin Peng lived in Peninsular Malaysia.
Before the limited screening here, Lelaki Komunis Terakhir was screened at the Berlin International Film Festival and received encouraging reviews from international critics.
The documentary has also been invited to several other festivals including Hong Kong, Singapore and Vancouver as well as documentary festivals in Canada, Munich and Amsterdam. Lelaki Komunis Terakhir will also be screened in Ipoh on 19 May as a charity screening for the Perak Heritage Society.
In another development, Amir has just finished filming Susuk under Grand Brilliance, which he directed with Naeim Ghalili. Susuk is scheduled to meet audiences at the end of the year.
* Translated from the original article.