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View Full Version : "Gubra" sparks more outrage in Malaysia



sirgalahad2010
04-05-2006, 04:15 PM
As per an AFP report in today's Spore Straits Times:

'KL - Malaysian film-maker Yasmin Ahmad's new film has been criticised for showing religious officials cooking and being friendly with prostitutes.

'Critics said that Gubra, a sequel to her award-winning Sepet, about an inter-racial romance, poses a threat to Muslim culture and could corrupt Muslim audiences.

'Film producer Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman said on a weekend TV talk show that the character of a bilal, or muezzin who performs the call to prayer from mosques, should not have been shown at work in the kitchen.

'"A pious wife would not allow her husband to cook," he said.

'Raja Azmi, with film critic Akmal Abdullah, also said the bilal and his wife were friendly with sex workers in the neighbourhood, and that he was unfit to hold the role.

'"He should have called the religious authorities to arrest them. What kind of bilal allows these activities to continue in his neighbourhood?" Akmal said.

'Yasmin's Sepet had earlier caused an uproar and was released in cinemas after several cuts by the censorship board.

'Akmal said it was confusing for Malay Muslims to see Orked, the heroine in Sepet who is depicted as a pious Muslim girl, fall in love with a Chinese kafir (infidel) who works as a peddler of pirated DVDs.

'Yasmin defended the movies, but conceded she could have shot some scenes differently including ones which showed men and women freely touching each other, and another where an actor's buttocks were exposed'.

Gee - and here I was thinking that love transcends all boundaries - racial, religious and cultural.

Akmal could also have asked what are the reasons that women have to work in the sex trade. Instead, he shows a distinct lack of compassion by saying that these unfortunates should be arrested by the religious authorities (shades of the Taliban!).

And it is sad that Akmal Abdullah should use the word "kafir" to describe the Chinese boy who sells pirated DVDs for a living. "Kafir" is derogatory, to say the least. Akmal could have asked why the Chinese boy is selling pirated DVDs instead of pursuing his studies (no scholarship, ah?) or, at least, if the availability of pirated DVDs is an integral part of the Malaysian landscape. But, no, he goes for the jugular.

Looks as though Yasmin will be driven offshore if she wants to continue making movies and if she doesn't want to "toe the line". Interestingly enough, her latest movie is shot in Singapore and is financed by a grant from the Media Development Authority there - and no censorship worries either!

And its amazing (and downright sad) how intolerant and holier-than-thou some people can be when pushing their religious agenda, without regard to the multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-cultural reality that is Malaysia today. Or, maybe, they are trying to deny the reality or more sinisterly, trying to remake the reality according to their own ideas and philosophies.

Diana
04-05-2006, 05:39 PM
All tht just makes me yawn.. same old drivel frm same type of ppl.. what really got me was what was quoted in d Sun paper today.. One of them said something about this being the Malay's country, thts y it was called 'tanah melayu' so the rest of us just hav to tiptoe around their sensitivities. I wish i had the exact quote but i left d paper in college.. :(

USJ27Resident
04-05-2006, 05:43 PM
And its amazing (and downright sad) how intolerant and holier-than-thou some people can be when pushing their religious agenda, without regard to the multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-cultural reality that is Malaysia today. Or, maybe, they are trying to deny the reality or more sinisterly, trying to remake the reality according to their own ideas and philosophies.

wei... did you just answer your own question...

at this rate... even Marina Mahathir better tone down her musings... these fellas might just "go after" her, now that Daddy isn't PM anymore...

burntan
05-05-2006, 12:41 PM
Actually every movie have a message to pass on to their viewers and often inmature viewers are easily influented by the movie (you maybe surprise to learn that how many inmature people out there). So, it is important that a movie pass a positive message instead of a negative one.

How can we allow a movie passing a message that it is okay to sell pirated DVD (even he can't get scholarship, so what? there are still a lot of other better job to do) and become a prostitute?

GreyShadow
05-05-2006, 01:08 PM
Actually every movie have a message to pass on to their viewers and often inmature viewers are easily influented by the movie (you maybe surprise to learn that how many inmature people out there). So, it is important that a movie pass a positive message instead of a negative one.

How can we allow a movie passing a message that it is okay to sell pirated DVD (even he can't get scholarship, so what? there are still a lot of other better job to do) and become a prostitute?
yeah... why not banned all those movies that has any negative message?? Banned all those movies with smoking scenes, drinking scenes (bad for your health). Banned those movie with killings, murder, guns and sexy ladies (bad for your moral).

Haha... it's like after I watch Gubra I'll turn into a pirated VCD seller or tuen into a prostitute/gigolo?

burntan
05-05-2006, 01:44 PM
yeah... why not banned all those movies that has any negative message?? Banned all those movies with smoking scenes, drinking scenes (bad for your health). Banned those movie with killings, murder, guns and sexy ladies (bad for your moral).

Haha... it's like after I watch Gubra I'll turn into a pirated VCD seller or tuen into a prostitute/gigolo?

Don't you agree that some of the smokers start smoking because of some movies sending them an image that "smoker are more mature"? You don't see much movies showing that the hero in the movie finally die due to lung cancer or any other smoking related illness, you will only see that even the hero have a lot of bad habbits and smoke 30 cigarettes a day but still able to save the world.

I mean you can have a movie showing bad guys doing bad things like killings, murder, prostitute...etc but not sending a message that it is something right to do and be okay with it.

chin_wan
05-05-2006, 02:47 PM
This is one of the reason why Malaysia can never produce good quality film/movie. Don't they know that it is a film, a story to be told. It is not a generalisation of the community. This is art so let it do what it is suppose to do, be creative!

chin_wan
05-05-2006, 03:18 PM
Don't you agree that some of the smokers start smoking because of some movies sending them an image that "smoker are more mature"? You don't see much movies showing that the hero in the movie finally die due to lung cancer or any other smoking related illness, you will only see that even the hero have a lot of bad habbits and smoke 30 cigarettes a day but still able to save the world.

I mean you can have a movie showing bad guys doing bad things like killings, murder, prostitute...etc but not sending a message that it is something right to do and be okay with it.

So to you, the TV series "Friends" is a good for tv series eh? That series has potrayed smoking as "non-cool" from season 1 till season 10, everytime Chandler lights up but there are many other bad "things' in there too. What should we do? Just show the episodes that only have good stuff?

What I am trying to say is that the world has both good and bad stuff. We should not shield ourselves from the bad stuff because that would make our world very narrow. We should be given the opportunity to learn how to identify what is bad and what is good. This way we "learn how to fish" and not "given a fish".

An example about smoking. Did you know that according to Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Dr. Neal L. Benowitz of the University of California at San Francisco (See New York Times Article (http://www.pdxnorml.org/NYT_addictive_080294.html)), Nicotine is the most addictive drug, yes, even more addictive than Heroin, etc. So how come it is legal? I suggest you Google and find out why. So the point again is that cencorship makes our mind narrow thus we become ignorant just like some of the MPs' remark recently in Parliment.

burntan
05-05-2006, 03:23 PM
I will prefer movie like "Crash" that manage to touch some serious issue but not sending the negative message.

Some movie like to use excuse like reflecting reality to pass negative message like those Hong Kong gangster movies. In fact the reality they are showing is just one side, they will never show you how lousy a gangster life actually is and how they will end up. So, telling half truth is no way to "reflecting reality"

If you think that most people are mature enough to differential a movie is just a movie, then go ask around and see how many people believe that an american girl willing to get on bed on first date.

chin_wan
05-05-2006, 03:32 PM
The point still remains...censorship SUCKS! :(

SunwayKid
05-05-2006, 03:46 PM
Are we kidding ourselves that only movies with educational and spiritual themes are allowed and everything else should not be portrayed as it can corrupt the ordinary man? Are we saying that perhaps movies with endings like “Nobody Gets the Girl” and “Hero gets the Girl” are only allowed as those have positive values? Anything with negative messages where “Villain gets the girl” or “Everybody gets the girl” should never be screened and we should not even start with storylines where the “Man gets the Man” but it still won the Director an Oscar.

What is wrong with watching a movie that is not educational, not spiritual, and doesn’t teach a valuable lesson in life –but is humorous, sex-citing, appealing or in some other ways entertaining? Does it need to make you a better person from every movie you watch? My point is – people need to relax, forget the stress of living in bolehland, that is what movies are for, and if there is any theme associated with it, that is just the icing on the cake.

It is certainly true that some movies are morally inappropriate in their subject matter but watching a movie shouldn’t make anyone feel guilty that a theme that is “in theory” wrong is portrayed. Besides, I guess we all have different ideas of what constitutes “morals”, don’t we?

AllUrban
05-05-2006, 04:21 PM
If you think that most people are mature enough to differential a movie is just a movie, then go ask around and see how many people believe that an american girl willing to get on bed on first date.In an information-based society, it is the responsibility of the parents to send a message to their children to spread the parents values...this is their role as parents.

Parents must realize that this message is not always going to be received 100%...but if they do not pass on this message, they are not taking care of their responsbility as parents.

As for messages on TV....
American tv and movies are designed for an american "reality" and american "expectations" of what society is like. In that society, what happens between consenting adults is none of the business of the society or the state.

If people misread the message, that is their problem, not the problem of the director.

If you believed what you see in HK tv and movies, then HK is full of master criminals who have a thrilling life, and HK police are inept. If you believe what you see on Thai soap operas, thai women are extremely beautiful, but sullen, and prone to lashing out violently against other women.

Neither are true...if you believe it...it is your own mistake.

With respect to Gubra and Malaysian society....

Gubra and Sepet were made by a malaysian to reflect questions and issues that are occuring in Malaysian society. People who question the movie and accuse it of sending messages are trying to deny that these issues exist.

You cannot deny or legislate or punish to make problems go away...you have to uncover the reason and deal with the reason behind the problems.

The "islamic" issues in the movie...um...the prophet Muhammad (saw) cooked his own food and mended his own clothes...and was kind to people who he disapproved of, including people who treated him horribly. Muhammad (pbuh) had an old woman neighbour who threw garbage on him daily...when she didnt do this for a few days, Muhammad (saw) went to her house to see if she was alright. When he found out she had been sick, he offered to help her get well.

Would you do that? No matter the religion....Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh....would you do that?

I think that the bilal in this story was actually following the sunnah (practices) of the prophet Muhammad (saw) and I will stand by that.

Salaam

Cheers, m

sirgalahad2010
05-05-2006, 05:24 PM
Compassion and love for others are the cornerstones of all religions that acknowledge the existence of God, the Almighty, the Supreme Being or whatever name humankind wishes to call Him.

Movies and literature that express this compassion and love, without regard to race, social status or religion, can be great unifying factors in bringing out the best in us.

Not the petty nitpicking that the zealots amongst us want to enforce on all and sundry! :mad:

Snoggy
06-05-2006, 08:47 AM
I think we may be forgetting that movies, including Sepet or Gubra are also meant to be a form entertainment and a very good one at that. We sometime think too much, moral implications, social implication and other complications, I wouldn't think Yasmin would produce something that was meant to be educative or political in nature, otherwise she would have a hard time to recover the cost of her nasi lemaks during the shoot.

burntan
06-05-2006, 09:33 AM
Compassion and love for others are the cornerstones of all religions that acknowledge the existence of God, the Almighty, the Supreme Being or whatever name humankind wishes to call Him.

Movies and literature that express this compassion and love, without regard to race, social status or religion, can be great unifying factors in bringing out the best in us.

Not the petty nitpicking that the zealots amongst us want to enforce on all and sundry! :mad:

I haven't watch this movie yet, if the main message deliver by this movie is about compassion and love without border of race, sex and religions, then I strongly support this movie.

USJ27Resident
06-05-2006, 05:16 PM
This is one of the reason why Malaysia can never produce good quality film/movie. Don't they know that it is a film, a story to be told. It is not a generalisation of the community. This is art so let it do what it is suppose to do, be creative!

In Malaysia ... ART ?? You seriously gotta be kidding.... RIGHT!?

Unless you're gonna consider any performances, acting, singing, drawings, sketching, scribbling, painting... and whatnots; by this Mawi thing... :p

isarahim
07-05-2006, 03:23 PM
So, it is important that a movie pass a positive message instead of a negative one.

I totally disagree. Movies which take a critical look at the society are just as important as those which just tell that everything is fine and dandy.

We are Malaysia, not communist Soviet, North Korea or China.

burntan
07-05-2006, 07:39 PM
I totally disagree. Movies which take a critical look at the society are just as important as those which just tell that everything is fine and dandy.

We are Malaysia, not communist Soviet, North Korea or China.

A Movie which take a critical look at the society not necessary carrying a negative message.

A Movie which just tell that everything is fine and dandy not necessary sending a positive message.

You get what I mean?

Joe Gomez
07-05-2006, 08:51 PM
.............. We are Malaysia, not communist Soviet, North Korea or China.Really ..... You could have fooled me ...... :p
Ok lah then .......... we must be in Haiti ........ No ?? :D

Joe Gomez
07-05-2006, 08:54 PM
A Movie which take a critical look at the society not necessary carrying a negative message.

A Movie which just tell that everything is fine and dandy not necessary sending a positive message.

You get what I mean?IMHO, u r totally right on both counts .......

Then comes the clincher .........

Who decides when a medium ( like the "talkies" .... quaint word that aint it ?? ) has gone just a itsy bitsy teensy weensy bit too far over the egde ??

AllUrban
08-05-2006, 04:44 PM
Whoever wants to, I suppose...

Look at Lelaki Komunis Terakhir ...just banned by the government...but it was approved by the censorship board....

sigh...once criticism of government is that one *hand* doesnt know what the other *hand* is doing...

Sometimes it's as each of the fingers on each *hand* doesnt know what the others are doing

Cheers, m

AllUrban
08-05-2006, 06:11 PM
Just to follow up on the person who said that pious wives must not let their husbands in the kitchen.... :p

I figured there must be a reason...maybe it is the one in this letter (http://www.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/5/8/focus/14166399&sec=focus) :eek:

I cannot believe that this even got into the national newspaper...

But, it's there .... read it and weep :(

Cheers, m