Yasmin Ahmad: Celebrating Life
It’s very difficult to present in just a couple of lines the work of such an important filmmaker who comes from a cinematically unknown country. Indeed, many of you must be wondering whether there is such a thing as “Malaysian cinema” and whether there is a Malaysian filmmaker that has broken through its borders.The answer to both questions is:Yasmin Ahmad. She is the “godmother” of the new Malaysian digital cinema that is taking film festivals around the world by storm; and not just festivals.Yasmin Ahmad makes “popular” films (all of them have been huge box office hits) that are almost autobiographical (her family, as well as her own experiences are a constant and acknowledged source of inspiration). Films with a big heart and deep wisdom about today’s multicolored world, about multicultural societies in which different cultures, colors and religions meet in conflict and, sometimes, in an embrace. Practicing religion herself, she defends a different image of Islam.That is why her works fight taboos and prejudice and answer questions that concern humanity as a whole, armed with a deep humanism, a liberating sense of humor and, of course, poetry; from her debut on TV with My Failing Eyesight (Rabun), a prelude/hymn to the timeless love of her parents, to Orked’s trilogy (Chinese Eyes [Sepet], Anxiety [Gubra], Mukhsin), the amazing, multidimensional portrait of a woman (her own alter ego?) going from childhood to adolescence and on to marriage, confronted with adulthood, the shattering of her dreams and even death. If we had to put it in a nutshell,Yasmin’s films are the most powerful affirmation of life we have seen in the past years; and the loudest negation of intolerance. You simply must meet her.