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‘Fundamentally Happy’ filmmaker weighs appeal against local ban

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by October 21, 2016 General

Adibah Noor and cinematographer Christopher Doyle share a laugh on the set of ‘Fundamentally Happy.’ — Picture via Facebook.com/FundamentallyHappyAdibah Noor and cinematographer Christopher Doyle share a laugh on the set of ‘Fundamentally Happy.’ — Picture via Facebook.com/FundamentallyHappy

The creators of Singaporean movie Fundamentally Happy may appeal the Film Censorship Board’s (LPF) decision to ban it over concerns regarding ethnic sensitivities here.

The filmmakers wrote on Facebook yesterday to say that local censors had cited elements in the movie may be construed by the local Malays as an “attempt to reflect the community’s attitude towards those who abuse the weak to fulfil their desires”.

“We are deeply disappointed that our Malaysian audience is being denied the opportunity to watch Fundamentally Happy in the cinema. This film was based on an award-winning play that was a result of months of research and consultation with the community.

“The play and the film are, above all, works of social relevance and compassion. We were hoping to share this film with our audience in Malaysia so that we could have a conversation on the important issues brought up by the film,” said the filmmakers.

The movie is based on the 2006 play written by Singapore Cultural Medallion honouree Haresh Sharma and directed by fellow Cultural Medallion-winner Alvin Tan.

The play won the Best Production and Best Script awards at the Life! Theatre Awards, the highest honours in Singapore theatre and the filmmakers said that the play has also been staged twice in Singapore but restricted to audiences above 18.

The movie stars Malaysian actress Adibah Noor and Singaporean actor Joshua Lim in lead roles.

Its producers said Malaysia is the only country to ban Fundamentally Happy.

On Tuesday, Harian Metro quoted LPF chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid as saying that the movie was rejected from being screened locally as it depicted a Malay man as a paedophile and a 10-year-old Chinese child as his victim.

“We watched the movie twice before giving our final decision and the rejection is on the basis of safeguarding the sensitivities of local audience,” the Malay daily quoted him as saying.

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