Sunday, March 26, 2006

MStar article

Lelaki Komunis Terakhir in cinemas this May

by Fathi Aris Omar

25 March 2006

The film that once caused controversy, Lelaki Komunis Terakhir directed by Amir Muhammad was passed early this month by the Film Censorship Board (LPF) with no cuts and is slated to meet audiences in three cinemas this May.

"I am happy it got through with no cuts." the independent director said to MStar Online today. "This is the first time a local documentary will be screened in our cinemas."

The 90-minute documentary features the life journey of Chin Peng, leader of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), from youth to the present. It also has a 20-minute segment featuring interviews with former guerilla fighters in their current village in South Thailand.

Last year UMNO Youth was reported to be "against any attempt to film the struggle of Chin Peng" who is considered "a traitor to the populace and government of Malaysia."

Datuk Azimi Daim, the movement's Information Chief, was quoted as saying: "Instances of murder, violence and cruelty by Chin Peng and CPM members towards the public in Gerik, Bentong, Gua Musang and the Thai border are still fresh in the minds of Malaysians, including ethnic Chinese and Indians."

He came out with the statement as a reaction to Amir's plans to make this film.

The film itself does not contain interviews with its protagonist Chin Peng even though over 80 people were spoken to during its making.

During interviews, the former CPM guerillas raised the issue of the government's refusal to allow them to return to their homeland, and also described the experiences and ideological fervour they went through.

"I sort of assumed (if there had been any cuts) some lines in (these interviews) would be censored." Amir says, describing a few segments that initially were feared to be 'problemmatic' with the authorities.

This film is scheduled to be screened from the end of May in the Golden Screen Cinemas chain in Mid-Valley, 1 Utama and Penang's Gurney Plaza.

* Translated from the original article here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations for getting your film not only approved, but have it all poised for commercial release.

I greatly admire your courage and sacrifices in pursuing your artistic interests and beliefs. Our country desperately needs people like you out there, voices that seek to explore and show us who we are...

Yoo bad, I will probably be missing Tyour documentary (my town doesn't have a cinema)...Too bad too that I didn't muster the courage to meet you and shake your hands when you spoke at the UKM cultural/literary conference at Sheraton last year.

May you continue to find the courage and integrity in pushing boundaries and pionerring work you and our other filmakers are doing.

10:04 pm  

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