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Monday, July 21, 2008
Yasmin Ahmad's Muallaf

I was one of a privileged group of people who was given the opportunity to watch Yasmin Ahmad’s latest masterpiece, Muallaf. Since then, I was going back and forth whether to write or not my thoughts about this film. I am afraid that I misinterpret this brilliant masterpiece and totally ruined the whole thing. However, I decided that I have to put it out there once and for all, not that my views matter, mind you.

The locus of this story is Brian, a young teacher and a reserved cold man. He teach at a catholic school where he crossed path with this troubled student, Ana played by a brilliant Sharifah Alesya, who live with her club waitress sister, Ani played by her real life sister Sharifah Amani. Both of them are in hiding from the chokehold of their treacherous father which perfectly portrayed by the superb Rahim Razali.
On the surface, they story looks heavy, mainly because of the religions references. Ana was seen quoting a lot of what I assume the Old Testament phrases and Quranic verses. To the people who have never been exposed to comparative religion issues, this may look unacceptable – to see people dwelling into the knowledge of foreign religion. Yasmin Ahmad draws many parallels amongst religions, without saying that every religion is equal.

However when I look beyond the religions issues, Muallaf actually deals with a very light subject, which is forgiveness. The religion stuffs that were weaved into the story merely portrays the way of life of each individual. Almost every main character in this story is wronged, and the film simply tells us their journey to find condonation through compassion and tolerance.

Yasmin Ahmad once again proved that the main ingredient in a good movie is a good storytelling. There are stories in everyday life, it just the matter of how we see it. The movie primeres at Locarno Film Festival, where it’s nominated for Mosaic of contemporary society award under the Ici & Ailleurs category.



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Every Man For Himself

“Count your smiles instead of your tears; Count your courage instead of your fears.”

~ Unknown

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou

“The secret of Happiness is Freedom, and the secret of Freedom, Courage.”

~ Thucydides

“Everything becomes a little bit different as soon as it is spoken out loud”

~ Hermann Hesse





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