As I was
I know, I know, I am such a schoolboy sometimes.
Anyway, I saw this advert for a movie from a Malaysian film-maker Tsai Ming Liang, called I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, which has been banned in Malaysia because it shows Malaysia in "a bad light".
It's always so disappointing the so many Malaysians are famous elsewhere but not in their country of birth, that their work are not recognised and appreciated.
It's so ironic that Malaysian works and films are shown in Singapore instead, deemed our arch-rival and competitor.
Back to the film. The storyline goes that:
After being attacked and robbed in Kuala Lumpur, the homeless Hsiao Kang is taken in by some Bangladeshi workers. One of them, Rawang, lets Hsiao Kang sleep beside him on an old mattress he has found. As he nurses Hsiao Kang’s wounded body, he feels calm and contented. Is it because of the mattress or because of Hsiao Kang?
Chyi, who waits tables in a small coffee shop, is also nursing someone: her lady boss’s paralysed son. Chyi hates her life. When she happens to meet Hsiao Kang, her body fills with lustful desires. However, her difficulty in finding a place to have sex with him brings home to her just how little freedom she has.
As Hsiao Kang slowly recovers, he finds himself caught between Rawang and Chyi, pleading for attention like a stray cat but equally capable of fluttering away as free as a moth. Chyi’s lady boss also develops lustful feelings for Hsiao Kang, finding that he resembles her paralysed son...
Meanwhile a heavy haze envelops the city that is so humid that it reeks of the sweat of its multi-ethnic population. These men and women and the old mattress lose their way in the haze, but perhaps find each other …
Whoo! How interesting. Slightly gay-themed some more.
The so-called trailer is below. The song is just so beautiful and haunting.
I so can't wait to watch it next week. It is in Mandarin, but there are English subtitles, so that's a plus ;P
Apparently, I was wrong. Found out that it might be screened in Malaysia after all.
Taken from here:
Despite Tsai having been careful about how he portrayed the character of his Muslim actor, Norman Atun, and the edits they made specially for the Malaysian release, somehow the censors still took offence with the film.
The censorship board's reasons were that Malaysia was depicted negatively in the film, with beggars and immigrants populating Kuala Lumpur and the hazardous haze (caused by open burning) enveloping the city. They said Malaysians were also portrayed as cold and heartless. It is Visit Malaysia Year 2007 after all, so they felt it wasn't appropriate for the film to be shown.
An appeal was quickly made against the ban and just a couple of days ago, the appeals committee of the censorship board finally said yes to the film's release ... but with a few conditions.
The film will only get a limited release in arthouse cinemas, while five cuts are to be made. The cuts involve scenes where actor Lee Kang-sheng's bare buttocks can be seen, Norman is cleaning Lee as he lies injured and clad only in his underwear, Norman washes his underwear, Lee and actress Chen Shiang-chyi are kissing and where radio reports of open burning can be heard in the background.
Producer Tee said they were happy that the appeal was successful, but worried about the five cuts. He said they would make another appeal against those cuts. Meanwhile, Tsai voiced his concern as well, stating that he could not see how a story about love and compassion could be seen by the censors as something negative. He also said he is still trying to make up his mind whether to accept those conditions put forth by the censors.