Friday, December 18, 2009

Amir's Tribute to Yasmin

It's been 5 months since we lost the talented Malaysian filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, but her legacy lives on: Through her controversial films on inter-racial love, her much talked-about commercials (MCYS just won advertising awards for "Funeral"), and through the stories of her compatriots & friends.

One such compatriot is writer, publisher and fellow Malaysian filmmaker Amir Muhammad. His films & documentaries have been screened at international film festivals, including Sundance and Berlin. And two of his controversial films - The Last Communist & Village People Radio Show - continue to be banned in Malaysia.

Upon Yasmin's passing, Amir was commissioned by a Canadian magazine Cinema Scope to write a story on her. But what he wanted to say was impossible to condense into 1,500 words. And so the idea of writing a book on her films was birthed.

He watched anew Yasmin's six feature films, and the result was a book that takes the reader through each movie - almost scene by scene - with a running commentary. He's also injected his little "tangents" here and there, throughout the book, from personal observations of Malaysian culture and his insights from being Yasmin's friend.

The picture on the cover is one such insight. "Why a donut?" I ask him.

"It's Yasmin's favourite," he reveals with a chuckle. "If she had an event or gathering, and there was a J.Co there, she would go down and order boxes up! The J.Co green tea donut was her favourite."

Well, Amir's book, simply entitled Yasmin Ahmad's Films, will be launched tomorrow. Sat 19 Dec, at Books Actually @ 86 Club Street. He will also be present for book-signing and a Q&A session. Pop by at 4pm if you're free!

Writer & fellow Malaysian filmmaker Amir Muhammad pays tribute to the late Yasmin Ahmad with a book on her feature films.

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