Thursday, June 26, 2008

Women and Islam

Kelab Seni Filem presents 3 short films about women and Islam.
Presented by Amir Muhammad

Monday 30 June, 8pm

‘Malaises’ / Uncomfortable

Eléonore Merlin & Anna Salzberg, France, 28 mins, 2007

Aisyah and Oubaïdah, are two Malay women who are seemingly very different from each other, except for their common identity as women as as Muslim. Aisyah is a young emancipated person who enjoys the hectic lifestyle of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. Oubaidah, has single handedly raised seven children. She is a delegate of PAS and lives in Kelantan (*then) the only state of Malaysia steered by this political formation.

Both women provide their insights on work, sexuality and their relationships with men. We see in their answers, contradictions that echo and reflect off each other, often raising the burning questions of the challenges, battles for identity and place in a Muslim society in the midst of transition.

An Afternoon with The Hijjabed

Malaysia, Nadia Hamzah and Wan Muhammad Tamlikha, 8 mins/2005

A mockumentary revolving around five different Malaysian women who differ vastly in character, but share one common trait: all of them don the 'tudung' Moslem veil. As they sit over tea one fine afternoon, they ponder on consequences of wearing the veil.
Initially classmates for a production class in Multimedia University, Cyberjaya Malaysia, Wan Muhammad Tamlikha and Nadiah Hamzah started collaborating on creative independent projects since 2004. From music videos they slowly progressed into making films. 'An Afternoon with The Hijjabed' is their second combined effort under on.par pictures, their unofficial filmmaking collective.

Directors' statement: The mockumentary basically exaggerates each of the characters' personalities, bringing them up to manic levels in order to convey certain messages across. It tries to be blatant and blunt about the truth concerning Hijjabed Moslem women, but at the end of it, the audience is left to make their own interpretations.

The Noble Struggle of Amina Wadud

Elli Safari, The Netherlands/USA, 29 mins, 2007

On March 18, 2005, Amina Wadud shocked the Islamic world by leading a mixed-gender Friday prayer congregation in New York. THE NOBLE STRUGGLE OF AMINA WADUD is a fascinating and powerful portrait of this African-American Muslim woman who soon found herself the subject of much debate and Muslim juristic discourse. In defying 1400 years of Islamic tradition, her action caused global awareness of the struggle for women’s rights within Islam but also brought violence and death threats against her.

Filmmaker Safari follows this women’s rights activist and scholar around the world as she quietly but with utter conviction explains her analysis of Islam in the classroom, at conferences, in her home, and in the hair dresser’s shop. Wadud explains how Islam, with its promise of justice, appeals to the African American community. And she links the struggle for racial justice with the need for gender equality in Islam. Deeply engaging, this film offers rare insights into the powerful connections between Islam, women’s rights, and racial justice.

Venue: HELP University College, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Monday 23 June 8.00pm
John Carney; Ireland, 2006, 85min

A modern day musical set on the strets of Dublin. Featuring Glen Hansard from the Irish band "The Frames". the film tells the story of a street musician and a Czech immigrant during an eventful week as they write, rehearse and record songs that reveal their unique love story.
He lives at home and helps his father repair vacuum cleaners, but he has a dream of becoming a recording star. His girlfriend of many years has just left him and is now living in London. His emotions are reflected in his new songs.
The Czech girl who happens to have a broken vacuum cleaner also has a musical background of playing the piano and writing songs. Their music brings them together and the she begins to help the him realize his dream. They begin to share their music and their feelings for each other. They put together a band with other street players and rent a recording studio for the weekend to record two demos, with the promise of a start to a new and wonderful life.

Academy Award, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Audience Award, Dublin International Film Festival
World Cinema Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival

"...may well be the best music film of our generation" Chicago Tribune.

"The best of the best at Sundance, a gift of a movie that is absolutely worth seeing more than once" Rolling Stone.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Kelab Seni Filem presents a film by Laurent Cantet, winner of this year's Cannes Palme d'Or for his film The Class.

Monday 9 June 8.00pm
Time Out (L'Emploi du Temps)
Laurent Cantet; France, 2001, 128 min

Vincent is a businessman on the move. Seemingly at the top of his game, Vincent speeds between meetings and conferences ... using his cell phone to share the smallest detail of his professional life with his admiring wife, Muriel. What she doesn't know is that Vincent is leading a double life. He was fired from his job and has constructed an elaborate fantasy of employment that has become his full-time occupation. His fictional new job provides "investment opportunities" for his old friends and even his parents. But the web of lies threatens to choke him when the investors start asking about their money. Vincent must now decide which of his lives is most important.

*Don Quixote Award, Venice Film Festival 2001
* FIPRESCI Prize, Viennale 2001
"A masterpiece" New York magazine

"Gorgeous and mysterious...entrancingly beautiful" New York Times

"Truly haunting!" Los Angeles Times

"Extraordinary...all the tension of a thriller" Eye magazine

"A profound, measured portrait of a man driven with no end in sight" Time Out

Laurent Cantet, a graduate of the Paris film school IDHEC, has made several prizewinning short films, a television movie and, in 1999, Human Resources, an auspicious first feature that won him awards at a number of international festivals. The story of a young man who returns to his town as a human-resources manager - and subsequently aids in downsizing the factory at which his father works - Human Resources is one of those rare political films in which human feelings are as crucial to fighting the good fight as ideology. Time Out, a work of expressive formal beauty and intelligence, is yet another exploration of work and alienation, this time through a character who doesn't elicit easy sympathy. In the end, the film's most important revelation isn't what happens but the complexity of the director's own point of view: the struggle to retain one's humanity in the face of radical dehumanization, insists Cantet, isn't the exclusive provenance of the working class; it belongs to us all.

HELP Univ College Theatrette, Pusat Bandar Damansara, KL
Admission by membership, available at the door: RM60 1 year (students RM30); RM40 6 mths; RM30 4 mths
Free admission for Alliance Francaise members & HELP students
Enquiries: 012-2255136