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4th DMZ Docs(2012)

I AM DOCU



World without Shadow

KHOO Eng Yow

  • Malaysia
  • 2011
  • 90min
  • DV
  • color

Synopsis

The state of Kelantan located northeast of Malaysia has maintained an age-old tradition of Wayang Kulit, a shadow play using puppets made of cow leather. With more than 300 Wayang puppeteers called ‘dalang,’ the village spent sleepless nights watching these talents perform. Then one day the Wayang were hit with a major crisis when the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Malay: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PSA) who aspired to a more effectively Islamized Malaysia became the ruling force in the state government. The fact that the traditional Wayang based on the India tales of Ramayana and Mahabharata carried anti-Islamic elements had the PAS demanding the shadow play to be replaced by a new pro-Islamic narrative. World without Shadow starts ten years later in a search for the people related to the Wayang. The dalangs repair the dilapidated stage and pull out their dust-covered puppets, but reviving past glories looks far from possible. Yet this film refuses to maintain a sympathetic gaze as it occasionally inserts shadow play re-enactments of conversations between government bureaucrats and dalangs. And through this, the audience is led into an authentic experience of the humor and satire-filled shadow play. Furthermore, the film pushes forward to expose how absurd Islamic fundamentalists’ arguments are behind the banning of traditional Wayang not to mention an examination of whether the shadow play truly goes against a ‘real Malaysian identity’ as they claim. This 2011 film produced by Dahuang Pictures whose activities are at the core of Malaysia’s independent filmmaking also shows us a glimpse of the state of Malaysia’s independent documentary film production. (PARK So-hyun)

Review

Director

  • KHOO Eng Yow

    From Taiping, Malaysia and an engineer by training, his interest in still photography led him to his full time profession as an editor. Having edited other filmmakers’ works in recent years, Eng Yow started making his own from 2002. He enjoys the freedom of form and style in independent filmmaking. The gritty real lives are always evident in his films as seen in his award winning short film Railway Steps and docudrama Ah Kew the Digger.  World without Shadow (2011) The Pirate & the Emperor’s Ship (2008) The Bird House (2006) Job Interview (2004) Ah Kew the Digger (2004)​ 

Credit

  • ProducerFahmi FADZIL WRITER KHOO Eng Yow
  • Cinematography Jeffrey LOH
  • Editor KHOO Eng Yow

PRODUCTION COMPANY / Distributor / Sales

PRODUCTION COMPANY   Dahuang Pictures 

Distributor/Sales  Dahuang Pictures

Address  B-7-6 Menara Menjalara, Jalan 1/62B Bandar Menjalara 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel  60 3 7877 3014

E-mail  nfo@dahuangpictures.com​