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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gubra: OK from Malaysian Censors

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In a week filled with a public protest rally, an ambush-style 30 sen increase in fuel cost that became the catalyst for the rally, and other unpleasant developments, good news is always welcome. Especially when it pertains to something close to my heart

From The Star, March 4, 2006:

‘Gubra’ gets ok from censors

KUALA LUMPUR: After the controversy over her hit film Sepet, director Yasmin Ahmad was a bit apprehensive over whether her latest offering, Gubra, would escape the censors.

To her relief, Gubra has been approved for release by the Censorship Board without any snips and rated “U” for general viewership.

“I heard the news yesterday but it was only this morning that my executive producer Wan Shahidi Abdullah confirmed it,” said an elated Yasmin in a telephone interview from Singapore where she is promoting the film.

(Read the rest of the Star report here)

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Yasmin Ahmad is one gutsy lady whom I admire, and not just because of her work in film. She's one that dares to push the envelope - the tightly sealed envelope of censorship that, to me, is one of the primary reasons why the Malaysian film industry has not progressed further that where it is today. Her groundbreaking work in advertising

It is this gutsy lady, whom in her capacity as Executive Creative Director at Leo Burnett Malaysia, helped bring to the small screen (i.e. TV) the classic Petronas festival ads. Probably her most well-known bout with the censors was when trying to get "Sepet" released (read her post about it here).

The best part of this piece of good news is that Gubra will be released intact - no scenes cut! Is this a sign that the Censors are finally letting up on their scissor-happy uptight attitude? Well, hard to say, since this bunch can be pretty fickle.

One sad thing though is that Gubra gets released in Singapore first, before it gets shown here in Malaysia. But this comes as no surprise. Singapore, in fact, is a much more liberal place these days, at least when it comes to the arts. It may be another 10 years before we can even dream for Malaysia to be the same, what with certain elements hell-bent on taking Malaysia back to the good old 14th century, if they had their way.

In any case, it's not immediately known when Gubra will be released here in Bolehland, but myAsylum will be keeping close tabs, and rest assured will update everyone once it's known.

Congratulations, Yasmin!! I guess in this round, it's Yasmin Ahmad 1 - Malaysian Censorship Board 1. Truly a win-win situation for all, for a change. I, for one, will be eagerly looking forward to the release of Gubra. Intact - seen as Yasmin intended us to see it.