Film banned in Malaysia to be screened in Singapore

March 4, 2007
Singapore Democrats

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Bernama
03 Mar 07

“Apa Khabar Orang Kampung”, a documentary by Malaysian filmmaker Amir Muhammad banned in Malaysia, will be among films to be screened at the 20th Singapore International Film Festival (SIFF) in April.

According to the organiser, the 75-minute documentary which carries the English title “Village People Radio Show” was among the films confirmed for the festival which runs from April 18 to 30.

The film features interviews with dozens of former members of the banned Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

Living in exile as farmers in southern Thailand, the men recount the days of military struggle in candid interviews.

The sequel to Amir’s “Lelaki Komunis Terakhir” (The Last Communist) was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival earlier last month, about a week before the Malaysian Film Censorship Board announced that it has banned the documentary.

The board cited seven reasons for the ban, including one about the film showing “blatant” criticism against the Malaysian government for offering rehabilitation terms which the CPM members could not accept.

The board also said that the film distorts historical facts and tries to belittle Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, for the failed Baling Talks with the CPM in 1955.

Amir had appealed to lift the ban and the result will be known by next week.

Besides Amir’s film, the festival would also screen two films by another Malaysian filmmaker, James Lee, entitled “Things We Do When We Fall In Love” and “Before We Fall In Love Again”.

Some 160 films from 40 countries will be featured at the annual festival.