Award-winning M'sian film to be free online, following ban

Documentary Film | Feb 27, 2017

Award-winning Malaysian documentary ‘Absent Without Leave’ will be released online, since it has been was banned from local theatres.

The documentary chronicles director Lau Kek Huat’s efforts in tracing his family history, including his father’s role in the communist insurgency.

“It’s still forbidden to screen the film in Malaysian cinemas.

“So we decided to make the film available for free on the Internet – only for Malaysian audience – in the week of Feb 28 to March 5,” production house Hummingbird Pictures said on its Facebook page.

The film premiered at the Busan Film Festival in 2015 and won the Audience Choice Award at the Singapore International Film Festival.

“Intensely heartfelt without being overly sentimental, ‘Absent Without Leave’, navigates the murky waters of Malayan history that appears far removed from the present,” a synopsis on the Singapore International Film Festival website reads.

Screenshot of ‘Absent Without Leave’ Official Trailer

In Singapore, it is rated “NC16 – mature content” for audiences aged 16 and above.

Sitiawan-born and Taiwanese-trained Lau had previously won the Best Short Film and Best Director Award at the Taiwan Golden Harvest Festival.

Other films dealing with the communist insurgency, such as ‘The Last Communist’ and ‘The New Village’, have also been barred from being screened in Malaysian cinemas.

‘The Last Communist’, by filmmaker Amir Muhammad, is also available online.

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