Saturday, 11 August 2007

Mukhsin - Yasmin Ahmad @ BIFF

Well! I've not written much at all this week, and that is How Things Should Be, I suppose. Things have been a mixture of busy and frustrating at work, and the past week has brought some sad news. I attended the funeral of a colleague on Thursday, 'nuff said.

Meanwhile, the BIFF has been going on, and I've been awfully slack this year! Last year I considered myself "restrained", seeing only 7 films. In the past I've done the whole 11-movies-in-10-days thing, but this year... I don't know, I suppose it's been bad timing - I'm only seeing two.

But on to today, when I had the pleasure of going to see Mukhsin, directed by Yasmin Ahmad. This was in the "Malaysian New Wave" category of the festival. I had previously seen Sepet at my bestest buddy "Merlin"'s house, and today we both went to Mukhsin together. There weren't all that many people in the cinema, which was strange for a 12pm Saturday BIFF session, but there you go. This was a first-love story - the story of Orked and Mukhsin. A very simple, sweet tale. So very nice. The film contains a tie-in to Sepet, hinting at a happy ending for the inter-racial couple. I admit that I only suspected this tie-in and wasn't truly sure until "Merlin" confirmed it later (my bad memory).

Being a "first love" story - and between a 12 and 10 year old - it is very pure, and in fact neither character even mentions how they feel. But the audience can truly feel the characters shining through. Not just Mukhsin and Orked, but Orked's family and other supporting characters as well.

I don't know if a dumb aussie boy can truly appreciate Yasmin Ahmad's films - the glimpses into Malay life, the way she "pokes fun" at her own people and introduces inter-racial (particularly chinese/malay) tensions. But regardless of my dumb-aussieness, I've enjoyed both Sepet and Mukhsin very much.

goodnight folk,

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