List of local films to watch this Malaysia Day

By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
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If you’re not out celebrating Malaysia Day today, here is a list of Malaysia films that every Malaysian should watch just to get into the mood for the day.

Combining different style, topic and themes, it revolves on different types of genre touching not only on patrioticism but also on issues that any Malaysians can relate to.

1. Ola Bola

It is the most talked about Malaysian film this year. Released in January 2016, the film was based on true events when Malaysia national football team clinched a win against the South Korea team, qualifying them to compete in the 1980 Summer Olympics, only to find out that Malaysia was boycotting the event.

Comprising mostly of acting newcomers of diverse backgrounds, it gives an edge and diversity to the film.

Filled with skillfully choreographed football action, if you have never been a football fan before you might have a change of heart after watching the film.

2. The Journey

Known for being the highest grossing Malaysian film in 2014, the movie provides much laughter and emotion depicting a disgruntled and conservative father who reluctantly agrees to let his daughter marry marry her English fiance.

The two then set on a road trip as the father insist on hand delivering all invites to his friends.

Unable to get along at first, the two bond along the way as they manage to overcome language boundaries and put aside their cultural differences, replacing it with acceptance and understanding, values that we should strive for.

3. Embun

Released in 2002, the film was set during the Japanese occupation. The movie stars Umie Aida (who looks like Malaysian Angelina Jolie) as Embun, a spirited girl who fought alongside her brother spearheading a movement to liberate her people.

With an emotive performance from Umie, the movie is equally intense as it features a fierce, badass heroine clearly ahead of her time, not settling down to the typical role of how a woman should behave during that time.

4. Sepet and all of Yasmin Ahmad’s films

‘Sepet’ or ‘slit eyes’ was a 2004 movie directed by the talented director, the late Yasmin Ahmad.

With a Romeo and Juliet type of story line, if tells the story of an interracial love story between a Malay girl and a Chinese boy as their relationship faces social pressure due to their background differences.

Much like the rest of her films, the theme of her movies always revolves around the very real issue of multiculturalism that is considered taboo, often emphasising on the importance of acceptance and understanding of one another’s differences.

5. Jagat

Released in December 2015, ‘Jagat’ is a Tamil Malaysian film set in the 1990s during the post estate era dealing with issues concerning the Indian Malaysian community.

‘Jagat’ also faced its own issues earlier this month when the Malaysian Film Festival (FFM) came up with language segregation policies, creating separate categories for films in Bahasa Malaysia and non Bahasa Malaysia.

Critically acclaimed films such as ‘Ola Bola’ and ‘Jagat’ were initially disqualified from contesting for Best Picture category for its dialogues containing less than 70 per cent Bahasa Malaysia.

However, that was overturned by Multimedia and Communications minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak on Aug 10 and ‘Jagat’ ended up winning Best Malaysian Film at FFM28.

6. Puteri Gunung Ledang

Remember this one? Puteri Gunung Ledang is a 2004 fantasy period film based on the legend of Puteri Gunung Ledang (Princess of Mount Ledang).

With a budget of USD4 million, it was Malaysia’s first big budget movie during that time. It is a love story between the princess and Hang Tuah who was torn between his love for her and his loyalty to the sultan who was courting the princess as well.

Although the movie might drag a bit, the official soundtrack ‘Asmaradana’ (Divine Love) by Tiara Jacqualina herself was phenomenal and very catchy when it first came out, prompting numerous schoolgirls to choreograph their dance moves during cultural club (kelab kebudayaan) in school.

Given the choice between love or loyalty to your king, which one would you choose?

Initially set to be released in August this year, the date was postponed for further improvement to be made to the film.

Special mention: Kanang anak Langkau

Based on true story of the late Temenggong Datuk Kanang Langkau who passed away in 2013 after collapsing in his home at Sri Aman.

He entered the military service with the British Army as an Iban tracker, was also attached to the 42 Commando during the Brunei Revolt and the Indonesian-Malaysia Confrontation.

He later served with the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment and the Sarawak Ranger that later became Malaysian Ranger on Spetember 16th 1963. Known for his exceptional tracking skill, Kanang led a platoon to track the enemy down in Tanah Hitam, Perak on 8 February 1980.

He was shot while trying to save a friend and ended up in a coma for two months. Having received the nation’s two highest awards Sri Pahlawan Perkasa (SP) and the Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB), he became recognised as the nation’s most decorated war hero.

So, which movie do you choose to watch this Malaysia Day. If the movie of your choosing is not listed here, tell us at the Borneo Post SEEDS which Malaysian movie would you prefer to watch on this rather patriotic day?

Happy celebrating Malaysia Day!

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