AND WHO IS FEELING HOW THEIR SOCIETY IS BEING SURROUNDED BY THE VERY PERSONS THEY WANTED TO OVERWHELM. IT SHOULD BE SET IN
SINGAPORE OR ‘ PENANG’.
By Mansor Puteh
Have the Chinese filmmakers in Malaysia found a niche in the international film festival circuit by coming up with more and more films dealing with their anguish and anxieties living in a country outside of China and facing whatever difficulties and social and cultural disconnection with their host country?
This is an interesting theme.
But can they pull by coming up with something magnificent?
Some African-American film directors had tried to do that by coming up with films and television serials dealing with their ties to Africa but they did not create a separate genre; in the end they are swallowed by
are also many films that deal with the experiences of their immigrant societies
facing problems and issues living there. But till now one has not seen anything
wonderful, even in the form of literary works. England
No novel that deal with such a theme has ever been written and published. The doyen of the authors, Salman Rushdie had to sideline his religious and racial backgrounds to embrace the British way of life and thinking in order for him to be accepted by the literati and establishment.
Alas he is not serving himself but his masters even if it meant that he has to hide himself from everybody worrying if Imam Khomeini’s fatwa would be enforced by anyone remotely looking like a Persian or Arab who never appreciated the late Imam or his ideals, but for the sake of making it on prime-time television for a few days...
David Chapman knew it could be done.
I don’t think the Chinese anywhere in the world cares how the Chinese in
Malaysia looks like and behave as much as the
Indians anywhere in the world would care to look at Indians living in Malaysia and other countries including in . England
Unfortunately, and ironically, the opposite may be true. In fact it is true since a long time ago, with the many films and music from Hong Kong that have been imported into
the Chinese all over the world. Malaysia
Even the Indians in
They aspired to be further disassimilated from the majority societies they are in and for as long as they possibly can.
The Chinese in America and the United Kingdom had found it was not expedient anymore for them to behave that way, so most of them had opted to assimilate with the majority, the whites and adopted their ways, with the few stuck in the few Chinatowns, where they are holed in thinking that they are still somewhere in China.
The Chinese and Indians are two major minority immigrant races in
prominence has not created any wonderful films on their communities,
personalities and issues, social or cultural or even political. Malaysia
They are being treated by the Chinese in
Hong Kong, Taiwan and much the same as the Africans
would look at the African-Americans and the films on them. China
The Chinese-Malaysian feature film, ‘The Journey’ therefore cannot attract much attention outside of Malaysia and even in Singapore whose Chinese-Singaporean films too have not managed to do the same in Malaysia much less in other countries.
And the stories of Chinese immigration to Nanyang or Nusantara Melayu that had been turned into films too have failed.
Chinese and Indian Diaspora films are not going to be an exciting genre for the Chinese communities all over the world except for some ‘Bollywood’ films that are still seen by some Indians living outside of
‘The Journey’ is a Malaysian film. It is a Chinese-Malaysian film. But alas, it is more of a Chinese Diaspora film.
It is on the Chinese who refuse and cannot assimilate with the majority Melayu-Muslims and who seem to blame their ancestors for them being here in this country and not in their country of origin.
From the film, one can see how distant they are in their gaze and looking out of place in the location where they are.
Unfortunately, this is something that this film dwells on without ever the director or screenwriter and the characters uttering a word of it.
There has also been some Indian Diaspora films produced by the Indians in England that had gone places, especially ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ and some others including novels written by British-Indians, who seem to have also gone very far living in the country with some ending up as television hosts and newsreaders for the BBC.
there are also
some Chinese Diaspora films that had been produced based on novels written by
Chinese-Americans with the notable one being ‘Joy Luck Club’. Hollywood
All of them however, deal in caricatures, much like Charlie Chan that was produced earlier by
Hollywood, and especially now with
Jackie Chan, Chow Yun-fat and Jet Li who only know how to prance about in all
the Hollywood films they had acted in.
They had benefited much from their foray into
but the Chinese Diaspora has not. Hollywood
First of all, the title is not original; there are few other titles for films with the same title, so it is difficult to Google check for it without finding that it is for other films.
Besides, what journey are the makers of the film talking about? The journey that their ancestors had taken to come from South China to Tanah Melayu or Melayu Land and to the others in Nanyang or Southeast Asia or Nusantara Melayu or the Melayu World?
Has their journey ended or it is still continuing until some of the Chinese in Nanyang finally find themselves in
Australia and America or anywhere in Europe
where they will and can be made to feel not belonged?
So few Chinese in Nusantara Melayu would want to return to
. Those few who finally had to
go back were those who were involved in crime and had to flee from their
adopted countries to return to China
to escape persecution. China
They did not return because they liked
The same with some Indians or Tamils who had to return to
They are mostly the economic migrants in Eastern Europe and
China and both have unemployment
problems that they can never offer the foreign Chinese and Indians such a deal. India
Maybe if the economic fortunes of these two countries changed in the future, and if they get support from
does, then they can consider creating such laws to allow the foreign Chinese
and Indians the right to return to the countries of their origins. Israel
China and India
are both countries that have huge populations unlike which is facing the treat of
the Arabs who are growing in the numbers and who would soon overwhelm the Jews
This is one of the local Chinese films that had made it getting the Chinese to watch it in droves which allowed it to collect RM17 million at the box office and some millions more on television, and also from DVD sales.
I am not sure if this film had also managed to get distribution in other Chinese countries such as
Hong Kong, Taiwan
and China and in the Chinese
areas in some cities in
and elsewhere. America
There has not been any announcement on this.
Chances are if it had, then surely the producers of this film would have made a big deal out of it.
They should and no one can blame them from doing that, if that had happened.
So chances are that had not happened.
But why are the Chinese in
falling for this sort of film? They had not gone to watch the many other local
Chinese feature films, except for this one. Malaysia
It is a problem not of their doing, but that of their parents and grandparents.