A Tribute to Yasmin Ahmad

Ok I’m supposed to work on this Excel sheets that we were all assigned to do at work but I seriously don’t feel like it. It is still the weekend after all. If it’s not for the holy month of Ramadan, I will be sweating it out at the club right now. Yikes! It’s almost three! It’s time to hail a cab home now. Drunk. Urghh!

So I think I better work on another entry. This time it’s on A Tribute to Yasmin Ahmad screening at KLPac a few weeks back. It was the screening of her first ever feature film ‘Rabun’. That’s ‘Poor/Failing Eyesight’ for all of you my non Malay-speaking readers. It was free, I was free that evening and I haven’t actually seen the movie so I decided to go on my friend’s invitation.

I’ve seen at least more than half of the film that she’s ever produced. She was and still is my favourite local film-maker. It's a shame for such a pure talent to leave us too soon. I’m sure Yasmin has a lot more to offer. Without her, local movie-goers have to settle for a bunch of tacky college love stories and movies about local gangsters in cornrows and stick-on tattoos.

The screening was delayed because Yasmin’s sister; Orked left the DVD at home. So while waiting for her to drive back home to get the DVD, they showed I think almost all of the TV ads ever produced by Yasmin Ahmad throughout her career. Mostly for Independence Day and Aidilftri, they really brought back memories; both good and bad. Some of them even took us way back to the 90s when I was still just a primary school student and the only joy in my life came from watching TV after school.

The movie finally began and I sat there enjoying every second of it. I don’t always laugh when I watch movies because I’m such an icy cold creature or something like that, but I totally did that night. It was a lot of fun. When it ended just like any other movie screenings, a Q&A session followed. And just like any other Q&A sessions of movie screenings that I have ever attended, I didn’t even bother to ask questions. Instead, I was busy snapping photos of Mohsen. Yes the kid from one of her movies was there that evening. All grown up.

I royally fucked my memory stick and deleted photos taken at the screening. Only managed to recover the thumbnails :(
But I did gather some facts about Yasmin as told by her sister that evening:

  • Most of Yasmin’s movies are based on her family members and life when she was growing up in her hometown
  • ‘Rabun’ was made for her father who was sick at that time. When her father recovered, she decided to make more.
  • She wrote her own scripts but did a lot of tweaking during the shooting process that the movies turned out totally different from the original scripts.
  • Mohsen didn’t come and audition for the part. He was accompanying his cousin and was spotted by Yasmin herself.
  • Before Yasmin passed away, she was in the process of collaborating with film-makers from Japan for her next project. One of them happened to be the son of Yoko Ono and John Lennon (Sean Lennon perhaps?).
  • She managed to finish several movie scripts which fates are still unknown—whether any of them will see the light of day or not.
RIP Yasmin Ahmad.You are dearly missed.

Support and learn more about Yasmin Ahmad Children Fund under Mercy Malaysia at their website HERE

Song playing inside my head: Goldfrapp’s Believer