Sunday, July 26, 2009

RIP Yasmin Ahmad

Was really sad to hear news of the passing of acclaimed Malaysian film director Yasmin Ahmad. She was just 51.

Many of her movies/ads touch on tolerance and acceptance of race, religion and class, and that often pitted her against the religious conservatives in Malaysia.

Here are some of the adverts she directed for Petronas.

My rough translation of the subtitles for those who don't know Malay and Hokkien.

Ah Hoon, have not seen your children in a long time.
My children? Very busy, too much work. My daughter is a lawyer.
I told you, that's the best, having one son and one daughter.
And your son?
He ah...very very busy. His company sells Ling Zhi...He does business with many governments...
The US, Hongkong...he even knows Andy Lau.
Andy Lau...Andy Lau.
He bought a new house in Damansara.
Damansara, not bad, not bad. Good, good.
Better than my son.
He's a doctor in London.
A specialist. In...what's that...cardiology.
He is really 'clever' at earning money.
So clever ah?
What about your daughter?
She's always terribly busy every time I call her.
She works in this very famous Audit firm. Really, really famous firm. I can't remember the name but...
She earns RM450,000 in a year.
Ya lah, ya lah, my son, for each operation, he earns 20000 pounds!
Each day, he operates twice.
Eng, what about your son?
My son? My son's well. He's coming to pick me up.
Pick you up?
Ya lah, very troublesome, everywhere he goes, he wants to take me along.
Eh, who's here?
My son is here. Bye, I'm off.
Mother, how are you?
I'm well.
Mum, we're going to Cameron Highlands today.
Cameron? It's very cold there.

A Family's Love, the best gift of all. Happy Chinese New Year.

And my favourite one here.

In her blog profile, she says, "I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying, especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool. Everyday, I thank Allah for everyday things like the ability to breathe, the ability to love, the ability to laugh, and the ability to eat and drink." I find her such an inspiration.

Rest in peace Yasmin Ahmad, you will be missed.


Anonymous said...

I am also sad to learn of her untimely departure. She showed us love and beauty in the simple things in life. She is indeed an inspiration.

She kept a blog
'Like clockwork' (July 2005 entry) is poignantly written.

Thanks,Lilian for putting up the videos.


Lilian said...

Hi LL, thanks for the link to her "Like Clockwork" post. She writes really poignant poetry.

I think many of us are touched because it's not often we see someone emanating so much goodness from inside, and this was so evident from her serene ever-smiling face.

The last Malaysian personality whose death left a similar effect on me was the super-talented Sudirman many years ago. He, like Yasmin, also reached out to people of all races.

Sad :(

breve1970 said...

Hi Lilian

Thanks for sharing. Yasmin was truly amazing. Did you watch the two MCYS ads that were screened in Singapore?

One was where a wife delivered an eulogy at her late husband's funeral. The other depicted the life of a young girl growing up with her father in a single parent family.

Both moved me to tears!

Lilian said...

Hi Ann, yes, I did catch the two ads she did for MCYS but didn't think they were quite as good as some of her earlier ads. She was also working a Singapore movie Go Thaddeus! based on the life of the young triathlete who died (Thaddeus Cheong). I reckon she would have gone on to make many more Singapore-based movies.

She was always very appreciative of Singaporeans, see this post

breve1970 said...

Thanks Lilian.

Baoying said...

Met her once, back in 2001 when I was just starting out in advertising in Singapore. She was quite a personality. Only remembered her telling "You don't smoke? You should, it's good for you!". Funny woman, sure knew how to leave an impression.

Lilian said...

LOL...What a character! Did you meet her in M'sia or S'pore?