Our infamous Malaysia’s Film Censorship Board (Lembaga Penapis Filem, LPF) has done it again, deciding for you, on what is ‘appropriate’ or ‘inappropriate’ content for your viewing pleasure.
This time, the ban is for the film adaptation of “Fundamentally Happy” by Singapore’s Haresh Sharma and Alvin Luke Tan.
Reason is; for containing “elements that may be sensitive to the feelings of Malaysian Malays and may be interpreted by Malaysian Malays as an attempt to reflect the community’s attitude towards those who abuse the weak to fulfil their desires”.
Hmmm…well, we wonder if the “element” in question is the paedophilia issue raised in the film. Perhaps something to do with the ethnicity of the characters, which include Chinese and Malay?
Oh wells, you won’t be able to find out in Malaysian cinemas for now but if you’re really, really curious and cannot wait, you could cross the causeway to catch it at SCAPEmedia in Singapore on 5 November 2016.
But all is not lost as, according to a Facebook post for the film, the filmmakers are considering to appeal against LPF’s decision, and also explore other options for Malaysian audiences to access the film.
You know what’s ironic?
- Fundamentally Happy was successfully staged in Malaysia, in 2007, at Actor’s Studio in Bangsar, that has since moved to Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang.
- Fundamentally Happy won the highest honours in Singapore theatre in 2007 when it was awarded Best Production and Best Script at the Life! Theare Awards.
- In 2011, playwright, Haresh Sharma was also the first non-American named the Goldberg Master Playwright at the acclaimed New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
- The film cinematography is by internationally acclaimed cinematographer, Christopher Doyle, known for Zhang Yimou’s Hero (2002) and Wong Kar Wai’s In the mood for Love (2000)
- Film critic, Chris Fujiwara praised it as
an intelligently-written and beautifully-acted film that manages to treat a highly controversial subject both artfully and compassionately.”
- The film is starring Malaysian actress, Adibah Noor and Singaporean, Joshua Lim.
If that’s not enough reasons for you to want to check it out, judge for yourself with their trailer
Hopefully, LPF will shed it’s overprotective mentality and let people judge art for themselves.