Now, let us narrow down the point of focus: the issue of multiculturalism in Malaysia. As we all know, Malaysian is mainly consisted of three differing races, and automatically, culture: the Malays, Chinese and Indian. Most of the population lived in harmony and tolerance, but does segregation truly disappeared from the hearts of its people? That is the central theme of the film ‘Sepet’, a film directed by Allahyarham Yasmin Ahmad, released to cinemas all over the country in 2004. The title literally means ‘slit-eye’, a typical reference to the Chinese facial feature. . The film received ‘Best Asian Film Award’ at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival 2005, and various other awards, ...view middle of the document...
Her last piece was the 2009’s film Talentime. She was actually working on her next project, ‘Go, Thaddeus!’, scheduled to be released in 2010, but the production halted due to her death in 2009. She passed away at the age of 51, due to the stroke and brain hemorrhage. She was laid to rest at the USJ 22 Muslim Cemetery in Subang Jaya, Selangor, accompanied by her beloved husband, Abdullah Tan Yew Leong and children, plus hundreds of her friends, relatives and fans.
In honor of her wonderful works of art, artist Kevin Bachman paid a great tribute to the Malay filmography legend, with an exhibition entitled ‘In Her Own Words: A Celebration of Humanity and Universal Words’. Bachman is a huge fan of Ahmad’s work, and used her blog post as the main inspiration for the exhibitions.
Focusing back on the film, the story of Sepet was set in the town of Ipoh, Perak. The film started by introducing an assortment of interesting characters, ranging from a Malay girl named Orked to a young Chinese VCD seller named Loong. The group of cast truly reflects the variation of culture and races coexisting peacefully in a place.
Jason or Ah Loong (played by Ng Choo Seong) is an illegal video compact disc (VCD) seller who loves poetry and literature. Loong was raised in a family with lack of love among its members. Loong's dad was a drunkard and abusing father, which eventually end up being wheel chair bound. His dad never shows Loong much love instead always tries to find fault in him. The only person that showers Loong with much love and care is his mom, Mama (played by Tan Mei Ling), coming from a Straits Chinese or Peranakan family, has endured much abuse from his husband since the early years of her marriage but despite all that, courageously she managed to brought up two of her sons, Loong and Alan well. Not only that, Ma is also a faithful wife to her husband despite the bad things that he has done to her, choosing to continue to care for her husband with much love, care and patient. Sometimes it's quite amusing to see how sarcastic Ma's remarks to her husband when they quarrels over their sons.
Orked (played by Sharifah Amani) was a lucky Malay lass whom grew up in a family filled with love. Orked was the only child of Pak Atan (played by Harith Iskandar), a retired teacher and Mak Inom (played by Ida Nerina). This 'crazy' and fun-loving family also has an additional family member in the form of their maid, Kak Yam (played by Adibah Noor) whom was never ever regarded as a maid by Mak Inom. Orked is obsessed with the Japanese-Chinese actor, Takeshi Kaneshiro and a big fan of Wong Kar Wai, a well-known Chinese director. Orked's best friend, Lin always teases her crush on that slit-eye actor.
Cupid struck one day at a market when Orked visit Loong’s store to look for VCD by Wong Kar Wai. Captivated by Orked's innocence beauty, Loong happily gave a VCD to Orked free of charge and secretly slipped his mobile number into the VCD packaging. From that moments...