20 Nov - "Mukhsin", the latest film by local filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad has passed the Malaysian Censorship Board without any cuts! In a recent press release statement from the film's distributor Grand Brilliance, Yasmin was quoted to be ecstatic about the good news; she had feared that if there were any cuts, it would have been a scene where the main character, Orked, was having a conversation with her mother about female issues. "Mukhsin" is a tale about innocent childhood love; a prequel about Orked set before Yasmin's previous films "Sepet" and "Gubra". This time around, 10 year old Orked falls in love with her childhood friend, Mukhsin, and the both of them have to adjust to the change in their friendship.
Loosely based on a similar experience which happened to her before, Yasmin noted in her online blog that she wanted to examine a "common and uncomfortable human experience" with the film. A topic which everyone has encountered at least once in his or her life – such as what happens when you fall in love with your own best friend? Or vice versa?
The character of 10 year old Orked this time was played by Sharifah Aryana, who happens to be the younger sister of Sharifah Armani, who took on the roles of the older Orked in "Sepet" and "Gubra" previously. The feisty 11 year old also attended the recent 19th Tokyo International Film Festival with her co-star Mohd Syafie, who plays Mukhsin, along with Yasmin and her husband.
At the same festival, a special screening of Yasmin's four internationally acclaimed films was held; Rabun, "Sepet", "Gubra" and "Mukhsin"; in what was called a "Yasmin Ahmad Retrospective".
Controversy surrounded Yasmin's "Sepet" and "Gubra" over the censorship of the films in Malaysia, due to the issues and topics raised in both films – yet they went on to receive awards and recognition worldwide in numerous film festivals; and even local critics have grudgingly accepted Yasmin's quirky yet dark movies.