Freedom Film Festival in Malaysia

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Malaysia's Freedom Film Festival features a Queer Cinema component as
well as a film about the struggles of a transsexual sex worker. It has
finished its run in KL last week; the films will be screened in JB
from Fri to Sun (12-14 Sep) followed by Kuching (19-21 Sep) and Penang
(26-28 Sep).

Sunday, 11am-1pm
Queer Cinema

Sambal Belachan in San Francisco (Madeleine Lim / 1997 / 25mins)
Sambal Belachan in San Francisco contains intimate interviews with
three Singaporean women who emigrated to live openly as lesbians share
their feelings of exclusion both from their families and culture of
origin and the United States. This rich film raises provocative
questions about the nature of home and belonging, and speaks
compellingly for a community whose voices are seldom heard.

Pang Yau (Amir Muhammad / 2003 / 13mins)
Against the bustling backdrop of Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown, a
Malay-Muslim narrator reminisces about a teenage relationship between
himself and an ethnic Chinese classmate. "Pangyau," the Cantonese word
for friend, is not just the story of a close friendship, but a prism
through which the writer gets to examine his feelings about the the
ways in which race and religion have been used in the national
socio-political discourse.

It's Over (Lee Jung-a / 2006 / 13mins)
A love triangle between three Korean high school students leads to a
surprise ending, at least for one of them.

Sat, 8pm-9:30pm
Pecah Lobang (Poh Si Teng / 2008 / 30mins)
Pecah Lobang explores what it's like to be a Muslim transsexual sex
worker in Malaysia. Shot in the Chow Kit red light district, the
documentary revolves around Natasha, a Muslim Mak Nyah, who refuses to
live life as a man. Unable to secure employment because of
discrimination, Natasha turns to sex work and lives in constant fear
of the police and religious authorities. Crossdressing is a crime
under the Syariah court system for Muslims and the penalties are
severe. But it wasn't always so. How did Malaysia become so
heavy-handed on the transsexual community?

Almost 30 films will be shown from Fri - Sun, details here: