Free­dom films

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ARTS - By AN­DREW SIA en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

THE KO­MAS Free­domFilmFest (FFF), Malaysia’s only an­nual hu­man rights film fes­ti­val, is back for its 11th year from Dec 7–15 and will be go­ing on si­mul­ta­ne­ously in Pe­tal­ing Jaya, Kuch­ing, Ge­orge Town, Kota Kinabalu, JohorBaru, Seri Man­jung (Perak), Serem­ban, Mantin ( Negeri Sembilan) and Sin­ga­pore.

This year’s theme, Switch On Peo­ple Power, is an ac­knowl­edge­ment to the grow­ing peo­ples’ move­ments for greater democ­racy and jus­tice in the South-East Asian re­gion.

The fes­ti­val will run over nine days and show­case 50 new and ex­cit­ing doc­u­men­taries and short films from South East Asia, fea­tur­ing themes on democ­racy and equal­ity.

One of the high­lights is The Act Of Killing, a com­pelling doc­u­men­tary film by Joshua Op­pen­heimer, de­scribed by The Guardian as “Un­for­get­table, un­miss­able, hor­ri­bly bril­liant.”

It is a jour­ney into the mem­o­ries and imag­i­na­tions of peo­ple who killed sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand al­leged com­mu­nists in 1965 in In­done­sia.

Many of them re­main proud of what they did and will­ingly reen­acted their hor­rific acts in a sur­real, cin­e­matic jour­ney.

The doc­u­men­tary has won more than 30 awards since its re­lease ear­lier this year.

Other in­trigu­ing films in­clude Entablado (which means “stage” in Filipino), the politi­cian’s tool for gath­er­ing large crowds dur­ing elec­tion cam­paigns.

The film re­veals what goes on be­hind the glam­our, hype, and empty prom­ises of­fered by politi­cians at such events.

Even A Bird Needs A Nest is a French film set in Cambodia, and ex­am­ines how a group of dar­ing women, led by the charis­matic Tep Vanny, con­tinue to protest and re­sist the gov­ern­ment grab­bing their land to hand over to pow­er­ful com­pa­nies for “de­vel­op­ment”, while res­i­dents are forcibly evicted and asked to live in squalid re­lo­ca­tion camps.

The Malaysian films will cel­e­brate “The Power of Or­di­nary Peo­ple”.

They in­clude: Tanpa Wa­jah by Wong Tay Sy (a movie about or­di­nary women who dared stand up to a male-dom­i­nated so­ci­ety to im­prove their lives and com­mu­nity for a bet­ter fu­ture for their chil­dren), Shat­tered Peace by Siti Nur­baiyah Nadzmi, Home by Michael Lour­des Ar­ju­nan, The Tai­lor Of Per­tama by Badrul Hisham Is­mail, and A Stray Hero by Hisyam Salleh.

For full de­tails, please see www. free­domfilmfest.ko­mas.org. The fes­ti­val is for mem­bers only. You can reg­is­ter online at the said web­site or reg­is­ter at the fes­ti­val counter at least 20 min­utes be­fore screen­ing times.

For­mer mass killers in in­done­sia are proud to reen­act their hor­rific acts in the doc­u­men­tary TheactofKilling.

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