to be honest, i wasn’t a huge fan of the one and only yasmin ahmad movie i watched. “sepet” seemed too naive, too ideal. although i was in tears by the end of the film, angry because i didn’t know if jason was dead or alive, my head still kept telling me “what a ridiculous story.”
of course, later on i understood the charm of the film was not just the breaking of many, many barriers, but also the bittersweet truth that it would never have happened in real life.
with yasmin’s passing, i can’t help but feel it’s the end of movies like “sepet” – bold ventures into the unattainable, a candle to the hope that one day that story will come true. almost no one has the guts to do what she did, to elevate malaysian cinema and inspire aspiring film makers to do the same.
i will also miss the subtle mix of messages in each and every single one of the festival advertisements she has written/directed. i can’t believe there won’t be one this independence day and hari raya…and the next, and the next.
there was this one episode of “dawson’s creek” where dawson, joey, pacey, jen and abby were in detention. somewhere in the middle, dawson (duh) made a comment about how their situation is similar to “the breakfast club“.
that episode got me hunting for the movie, which was made the year i was born. i read about it on the internet, but it wasn’t until years later, when i was almost done with secondary school, that i finally caught it on the telly. being 17 at the time, i related to the film quite a bit. except for the dorky ’80s fashion, of course.
although john hughes will probably be best remembered for making macaulay culkin a star in “home alone“, i am thankful for the cult success of that little movie about 5 kids in detention, each a stereotype in themselves (the “brain” was the only one who didn’t hook up with anyone, sad).
perhaps it’s no surprise that both “sepet” and “the breakfast club” have similar impacts in my life, considering i watched them just 2 years apart during my final years as a teenager. they both dealt with identity and how being aware of who we are has nothing to do with how we interact with others. that interaction transcends everything that makes us individuals. it makes us a collective – people.
i’m sad that yasmin and hughes lost their lives prematurely to cardio/cerebrovascular attacks. the medic in me wants so badly to ruin the ambiance of self-reflection and teenage fancies by warning everyone about the dangers of hypertension, diabetes and a generally unhealthy lifestyle…
…but i guess it’s far more appropriate to end this post on a celebratory note and toast the careers of two individuals who successfully brought people together through their work.
thanks, you two.