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Saturday, March 31, 2007


As if to make me wrong…

I have been to the movies a few times since I’ve been here in KL. I find that if I go in the morning I get the theatre almost to myself. I’ve seen ‘Water’ a very powerful Indian movie that I highly recommend and I saw ‘Bridge to Terabithia’. When I was involved with children’s literature, Katherine Paterson was one of my favourite writers. It is good to see that one of her most popular books has been made into a film and one that I find completely satisfying. Don’t worry that it’s a kid’s story; see it anyway.

One of my friends here in KL asked if I’d seen any Malaysian movies. I hadn’t because they all appear to be rather weird horror stories. Not my cup of tea. My friend recommended ‘Mukhsin’. I was assured it would have English subtitles so the day after I wrote my previous blog I went off to the cinema to see it.

This time there were about 30 people in the theatre. I’d say about 90% of them were women and all but one of them were wearing headscarves. I found myself sitting next to a middle-aged woman who was sitting next to a younger woman, perhaps her daughter. After I’d made myself comfortable the woman turned to me and commented that she was surprised to see a westerner watching a Malaysian movie. I told her that it had been recommended by a friend. We chatted for a while pleasantly. She didn’t have a daughter visiting Australia and I didn’t get an invitation to meet anyone or play cards. I am pleased to acknowledge that not all women in Malaysia are like the ones I wrote about in that previous blog.

The movie was not particularly sophisticated. It told a simple story of a friendship between a boy and girl, just old enough to show some tentative interest in the opposite sex; not all that different a story to the one in ‘Bridge to Terabithia’. Perhaps the acting and the storytelling was not up to what we in the west expect, however it was quite charming and at the end I felt satisfied.

I’m told this is the third film written and directed by Yasmin Ahmad and apparently the others are in some way linked. I look forward to seeing them if I get the opportunity.

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