I was supposed to post this blog last Saturday but had been busy with other stuff.
Yasmin Ahmad, a reputable director, was in UM for the screening of the movie Sepet. Actress Sharifah Amani was present as well. It was my first time watching the movie and I would say that it's just mediocre. Perhaps I had a high expectation on this movie. After all the movie did win at the International Festival of Women’s Films in France and a couple of other special mention at international film festivals.
It's not really the movie that I want to talk about but rather the reaction from the audiences. As quoted from the movie itself, the character Orked (played by Sharifah Amani) said that Malays are lazy. Of course, it puts the Malay audiences into a very uncomfortable situation during the show. Even myself as a Chinese was a bit shock and I was hoping there was no big reaction from a couple of Malays sitting in front of me. To be honest, it is pretty normal for other races to label Malays that way but we definitely won't say that in front of them.
After the show, the Malay girls sitting in front of me left and did not came back for the conversation between Dr. Wan Zawawi and Yasmin Ahmad. So, there was this Malay guy taking over the seat. During the Q&A session, this Malay guy was so fired up and he expressed his dissatisfaction about the remark that Malays are lazy to Yasmin.
Dr Wan Zawawi mentioned that the movie was debated in the Dewan Negara and was labelled as unpatriotic. From my perspective, I believe this movie can be improved through better scriptwriting. The racism issue in this movie was not well addressed and tackled. However, I hope to see more of her movies in the future.