Film review: The Rights Of The Dead

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Teoh Beng Hock died on July 16, 2009, adding his name to the list of custodial deaths that had shocked Malaysia for quite a while. The circumstances surrounding his case were dramatic to start with, and became ever more so as time went by. An admirable attempt to document Teoh’s tragedy on film has been made by Penang Monthly’s columnist, Tricia Yeoh.

Twenty five minutes. The length of this documentary is shorter than the interrogation of Teoh Beng Hock (which lasted nine hours), but it manages to convey with brevity and clarity the facts surrounding the mysterious death of the political aide three years ago.

Sure, the subject matter has been so extensively covered that there’s no possible new angle. But for director Tricia Yeoh, the making of the film became a very personal journey. Yeoh at that time was a research officer for the Selangor state government, and had worked in the same building with the deceased.


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