Why Do Films Fail in Depicting Malaysian Life?

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Short films appear better able to bypass political constraints, commercial burdens and excessive censorship.

Visual narratives may have the power to leave vivid impressions, but they always beg the question, whose narrative is being fed to the audience?

“Films have the potential to affect people in ways print cannot because we are dealing with images and visual narrative,” says Dr Mahyuddin Ahmad from the School of Communications, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). Mahyuddin, who holds a PhD in Film and Cultural Studies from Coventry University, says images can invoke a strong sense of recognition and recollection.

While this should make films an effective medium for fostering a sense of nationhood, Mahyuddin says such a project is “doomed to fail”.


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