The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

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The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby hengcs » Tue May 16, 2006 7:55 am

Director: Amir Muhammad

It is "supposedly" a documentary/film about the life of Chin Peng, leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).

My thoughts ...

-- Without reading any reviews/news prior to watching, I guess I was UNPREPARED for the approach. I did not watch it at the Singapore International Film Festival.

However, its premier at the Berlin Film Festival 2006 and some reviews at prompted me to watch when it was released for "normal" screening at The PictureHouse.

-- Unlike many "serious" documentaries, it took various unorthodox approach ...
e.g., the "supposed" last communist was NEVER shown ... in pictures or video or anything ... except in text ...
e.g., there are little (if any at all) archival pictures/clips/etc except for the last peace talk (where the dialogues are "mimicked" based on transcripts) ...

-- Audience are gonna leave the film with MIXED opinions. At the end, some might feel they have "lived" through those time and places while others might wonder if they have really learned much about "The Last Communist" (i.e., his personality, his thoughts, his motivation, etc ...). So, go watch and decide for yourself ...

-- Anyway, regarding the approach

... the director tries to make the audience "live" through those times through interviews with current residents in those places (e.g., Sitiawan, Bidor, Taiping, Ipoh and Betong etc) or some who have survived those times ...

... also, he has several "musical" numbers which kind of pay tribute to earlier 1940s TV ads (but also kind of satirizes) ... again, decide for yourself ...

A very "different/unorthodox" approach towards documentary.
I am not sure if everyone likes it (in terms of "style").
As usual, I guess some will like the "style" while others will frown upon it.

* Disclaimer:
The following is simply an article from the director's weblog ...
it does NOT in any way reflect the board member's opinion ...

Given the diversity in world culture, religion, beliefs, etc ...
please be respectful of every country's decision if you feel like commenting on the article ... *

(from the director's weblog)

Why is Lelaki Komunis Terakhir banned in Malaysia?

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby hengcs » Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:27 am

I recall arsaib4 enquiring abt the DVD ...

this is the official distributor in Singapore

maybe you could email them to ask if they do online sales ...

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby arsaib4 » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Thanks for the info, hengcs. I did email the distributor a few weeks ago, but due to certain issues regarding territorial rights I was told that the film can't be made available to overseas buyers. Looks like I'll just have to contact the director.

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby hengcs » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:49 am

"Village People Radio Show"
by the same director

It was featured in this year's Berlin Film Festival

Malaysia bans film on former communists living in Thailand

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby hengcs » Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:28 am

Hi arsaib4

if you are still keen

anyway, i am not sure if you will like the film ...

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby A » Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:28 am

It also seems to be available at now.

I've read some of the articles regarding this film, and his last project. Too bad I didn't see any of them at the Berlin Film Festival, where I had the opportunity. I'm also thinking about importing one or both of the films. You make "The Last Communist" sound very interesting hengcs! thanks a lot. And it was a great idea to include the link to the blog posting about the censorship issue in Malaysia. Extremely interesting reading material. I always like to know about approaches to censorship in different countries, and I'm also quite ignorant when it comes to the history of Malaya et al. (sad to say I don't even know much about Singapore or Malaysia today). These two films do sound like insightful exercises in dealing with the past, and as I come from a country that used to be a "communist" dictatorship, most issues of political and personal freedom do capture my attention on an intellectual and emotional level.

As I read that "The Last Communist" has sold very good on the local black market, I'd like to know a bit more about this. Could you explain a bit how these black markets work, if you have any knowledge about this, or direct me to some internet pages that discuss this issue? And I'd also like to know how the people in Malaysia or Singapore reacted who saw the film.

And what is your opinion on the first film (and if you've already seen it the second film), now that some time has passed?

And have you contacted the director, arsaib? If so, what does he say about the possibility of his film getting an international DVD release?

I know, I'm a bit curious today.

Re: The Last Communist (Lelaki Komunis Terakhir) 2006 (Malaysia)

Postby hengcs » Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:08 am

(1) since it is on amazon, maybe it is considered an international release, hee hee

(2) in case you think i highly recommend the film, read again ... hee hee ... i was cautious with my phrasing (becos i like to be encouraging and nice to directors/films) ... if i really like the film a lot, i would say HIGHLY RECOMMEND ... ha ha ... since you want my very frank opinion, i would say ... i was kind of "upset" that NOT enuf was mentioned/informed abt the person/backgrd etc ... in other words, if you go watching with zero knowledge about the history and hope to be very enlightened abt the person/events after watching, you would be disappointed ... however, if you want to know abt "life" in general during that period, maybe you will gain something out of it ...

(3) black market ... in local context, it usually refers to the fact that since it cannot be shown commercially, people simply try to get the "pirated/illegal" dvds to watch ... like any other countries, the locals would usually know where to get the "prirated/illegal" dvds ... governments would usually try to catch them, but just like any other countries, you can never totally eradicate crimes/piracy etc ... i think same with china ... in the past, a lot of films may be banned, yet the Chinese have their means and ways to watch those films ...

(4) local reaction to the film?! very frankly and humbly, i doubt many have watched ... i would say only the die hard art film goers might have watched ... i think opinions differ ...
click here (for some local, maybe a few foreigners' views)

Since you are so interested, I also help you surf some things from internet

(5) The Last Communist
-- The blog
-- wikipedia
-- NYtimes article
-- Twitch

(6) Village People Radio Show
-- moviexclusive
-- another review


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