sepet

i’ve just watched a most wonderful film, malaysian at that. sepet, meaning slit-eyed in malay (an often derogatary term used for chinese people), is about a malay girl who falls in love with a chinese boy. both come from vastly different backgrounds. the writer/director, yasmin ahmad, i think has made a poignant, endearing film that although is quite run-of-the-mill (boy meets girl & falls in love), is so wonderfully straight-forward & realistic. of course, its unfortunate that some scenes were cut & yasmin ahmad had to fight tooth & nail with the unreasonable censorship board to release the film here, her own country! i mean, compare sepet to other malaysian film duds like gerak khas, etc. it is far superior in terms of storytelling, character development & setting. this is even better than puteri gunung ledang because at least in sepet, the main characters have chemistry & are more endearing. obviously, the scenes cut were mostly about racial stuff, which understandably might cause some discontentment or protest from certain quarters. but come on, i think those are facts which everyone thinks & feels but dare not say them out loud. so for this, i salute yasmin for she was brave enough to point out some of the racist sentiments we all in malaysia face

well, since the story was set in ipoh, tammy & mingyang were very excited. ahahah, i think sometimes, we kind of piss off the other audiences because of our commentary. i like the portrayal of ipoh – rustic, the old & the new standing next to each other, it is so malaysian. i half-wished that it was set in my hometown, seremban. ahaha

yasmin mentioned in her blog that she didnt want the main focus of the film to be racial. she wanted to show the beauty of first love & i think she succeeded. i think the innocence of orked contrasts with the violent background ah loong comes from. some of the dialogue may be stilted sometimes and the extras were quite wooden, all in all i think this is a good film which everyone should see. its a malaysian movie made by malaysians. for once (in a very long time), i feel proud to be malaysian, ahaha. the censorship board should lighten up & open their minds because i dont think malaysians need any babysitting or protecting from negative elements. bah, so unrealistic & naive of them to think that we do. its quite insulting to our intelligence, like we cant think for ourselves & form rational judgements

i think the government should promote this film overseas because to me, this film quite accurately represents malaysia

yasmin ahmad is a genius writer & director! check out the advertisements she made for petronas & the LRT train one she made for the tourism & cultural ministry & also her other movie, rabun. i should watch that movie too. go malaysian independent film industry!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. tammy
    Mar 05, 2005 @ 12:52:00

    babihwa,the setting of sepet is kinda teruk.:)Very misleading especially to people who are not from ipoh.ipoh’s not old and rusty.promise.yasmin ahmad just happened to choose ‘old’ places to film sepet.the only ‘new’ place’s probably chicken king.but then again,i love period films.so,old and rusty always work for me!:)

    Reply

  2. Jaden
    Mar 07, 2005 @ 13:22:00

    i think the rustic setting worked for the film..ya may be misleading a little la but it looks very nice & beautiful =)

    Reply

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