In 2004, Yasmin Ahmad launched her 2nd film Sepet, which drew much international attention and also eased a previous dearth of authentic Malaysian cinema. Known for her use of evocative storylines and sentimentalist themes, Sepet similarly portrays pristine interracial relationships. Yasmin’s rosy depiction of Malaysia’s diverse and inclusive cultures present Malaysia as an Utopic multicultural society. This thesis seeks to evaluate Malaysia’s New Wave cinema to in turn trace Malaysia’s film history. By analysing Sepet, it will also examine the model of multiculturalism that is employed (or not) in Malaysia as well as the director’s challenge of Malaysia’s national identity. Lastly, this thesis will investigate the use of sentimentalism and adolescence as an overlay to ease the social tensions of interracial relationships.
I am interested in doing this because:
A challenge to write academically
To learn to be a disciplined writer
I have an interest in Asian cinema
I live in Malaysia’s neighbouring country and I am intrigued by the differences in the cultures of Singapore and Malaysia and want to understand these differences.
It contributes to academic understanding of multiculturalism in Malaysia