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"Muallaf" passes censorship

Writer: Lai Swee Wei


A scene from "Muallaf"

13 Feb – Much to the delight of controversial albeit acclaimed filmmaker Yasmin Ahmad, her film "Muallaf", involving some religious elements, has recently passed the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (Lembaga Penapisan Filem Malaysia) with no cuts last month - however, three small scenes will be muted and assurance has been given by the director that it will not disrupt the flow of the story. Previously, the film was harshly criticised by certain quarters for its religious context. As announced on her blog, she has decided not to release the film in cinemas but is currently awaiting Astro's verdict on their acquisition as they have showed keen interest on screening the movie.

Yasmin's heart-wrenching tale of love, forgiveness and religious tolerance told through "Muallaf" has been well received in Singapore last year, ending its four-week run on 24 December 2008. However, due to the increasing demand in Singapore, it will be re-released at the Cathay Causeway Point cinema come 26 February 2009. The film sees the return of Syarifah Amani (previously acted in Yasmin's "Sepet", "Gubra" and "Mukhsin") and other actors like Sharifah Aleysha, Syed Zainal Rashid, and Brian Yap.

Meanwhile, her latest feature "Talentime" about a talent competition in a rundown school is scheduled for general theatrical release on 26 March 2009 in Malaysia. Shot within just 12 days, it stars Mahesh Jugal Kishore, Mohd Syafie Naswip, Pamela Chong and Jaclyn Victor. It boasts a substantial soundtrack, O Re Piya, taken from Bollywood's acclaimed love story "Aaja Nachle" starring Madhuri Dixit and sung by classical singer Rahat Fatheh Ali Khan.


Cinema Online, 14 February 2009


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