Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Belasungkawa: Yasmin Ahmad

Yasmin Ahmad was an extraordinary story teller. She became famous for her exquisite, subtle and sensitive holiday advertisement for the GLC giant Petronas. Her trademark quirky tales of ordinary citizens in everyday situation became a benchmark for advertisments and films. Bet that there will be a course on Yasmin Ahmad's film in cinema-making courses soon, if not already. The clip below was the last interview she made with StarOnline, detailing her thoughts and hopes for the country and her raison d'etre.

There was an uproar that Yasmin Ahmad did not start life as Yasmin. I don't think that is relevant at all unless you are prone to small-mindedness and titillating, self-righteous gossip. Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin responded to this issue eloquently in his blog, giving us hope that not all religious scholars have a mindset stuck in mediaeval times (ILU Dr Asri!).

I think people forget that her legacy went beyond such pettiness. She left behind films and writings that made people think and look at the world differently. She lifted the veil that obscured us from seeing what made us the same and helped obliterate the differences between us as Malaysians, what ethnic group you may be. And that is a legacy that will continue to touch lives of people even years from now.

Goodbye, Yasmin. We will miss you and pray that God keep you always by His Side.


me the martian said...

its rather low that people gossiped about yasmin gender bender after her death. i find it odd that people are still shocked with the existence of transexuals. i do not need a reason like khunsa or whatever, men who become women are just out there. i dont really like many of her works but her last movie, talentime, is the first malay(sian) movie i watched at the cinema. her works do count for something.

Snuze said...

I agree! I am sure that everyone knows someone who is of that inclination. For the love of God, it is not something a person wishes to be; it is a compulsion that is hard to control. One should be compassionate, not judgmental. After all, we all live in glass houses.

Anyhoo, if you are a Shiite Muslim, it is not wrong!


I find her movies oftentimes have a great beginning, but drags toward the end with definite WTF! endings. Since I am not into arty films, I find that annoying. But her commercials are beautiful works of art, one that touches and endears. That is a hallmark of a genius storyteller, to tell so much in such a short time.