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3th DMZ Docs(2011)

I AM DOCU



The Big Durian

Amir Muhammad

  • Malaysia
  • 2003
  • 75min
  • DV
  • color/black and white

Synopsis

The Big Durian is an attempt to reconstruct a thorny historical event in contemporary Malaysia, known as “the amok of Private Adam.” In 1987, a Malay soldier called Adam ran amok with an M16 in Chow Kit, a Chinese district of Kuala Lumpur. It could have been a minor incident but because of rising ethnic tension at the time it triggered rumors of racial riots and a nation-wide panic . A few days later, a massive government crackdown detained more than 100 opposition leaders and civil society activists. The event became another forbidden topic similar to the national trauma of the ‘May 13’ racial riot in 1969. But Director Amir Muhammad’s task is not simply to recreate the event in the past. Rather he emphasizes the continuity of the past in the present by consciously eschewing archival footage and instead collecting the personal memories of people from various ethnic backgrounds. By doing so, the film reveals the ‘logic’ of the case: the politically weak Mahathir government seized an opportunity to crack down against the opposition and to consolidate power once again. More critically, the logic in which “rumor is the same as memory is the same as history” continues to affect Malaysian society. The film makes a desperate plea to face the truth by cracking open the cartel of silence and amnesia. In that sense The Big Durian is an anguished ‘petition’ towards the Malaysian people. (PARK Sohyun)

Review

Director

  • Amir Muhammad

    Born in Kuala Lumpur, 1972. In 2000, he wrote and directed Malaysia's first DV feature, Lips to Lips, giving birth to the new wave of Malaysian independent films. He then made 6 HORTS, a compilation of six essay films. The Big Durian was the first Malaysian film presented in Sundance but his The Last Communist and Village People Radio Show were banned in Malaysia. Malaysian Gods (2009) Village Radio (2007) Susuk (2007) The Last Communist (2006) The Year of Living Vicariously (2005)​ 

Credit

  • ProducerJames LEE
  • Cinematography WOO Ming Jin
  • Editor Terrence RAJ
  • Music Hardesh SINGH
  • Sound Hardesh SINGH

Distributor / World Sales

Distribution / World Sales  Da Huang Pictures

Address  41, Jalan KP 2/19, Kajang Prima, 43000 Kajang, Malaysia

Tel  60 122 014 002

E-mail  info@dahuangpictures.com​