File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2004/postcolonial.0401, message 45

Date: Fri, 30 Jan 2004 10:37:04 +0800
Subject: Re: Muslim women filmmakers...

Not one of my areas, but as a layman here, I can tell you a thing or two about films in the Malay language. There's the Malaysian film director, Shuhaimi Baba. A list of films that she was involved in is listed on the following web page:

Interestingly, her forthcoming film has the title 'Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam': 'pontianak' is a female vampire, while the phrase 'harum sundal malam' is a Malay term for a flowering plant, but literally translated as 'the sweet scent of a night whore'. The title apparently faced some problems with the censorship board in Malaysia (members of which obviously did not know much about Malay botanical terms). There is a report on the film on the following web page:

I believe she won the best director award for one of her films at the Brussels Film Festival in 1997. 

I have to confess to not being a great fan of contemporary Malay films, and a discussion of female makers of Malay films will not be complete without looking at the influence of some dominant female personalities in the past, such as the influence of Maria Menado in the late fifties and early sixties as an actress and film producer (as a producer, of course, she would qualify as a 'filmmaker'). There is some discussion of this on the following web page:

Coincidentally, she was also a 'pontianak' character, which I suspect is not unconnected to some feminist fantasies (which is also suggested on the above web page) -- well, pontianaks, with their temporary beauty, are known in Malay lore to seduce men to their deaths. Of course, there is a design to every narrative, and it's not just any men who are seduced...



----- Original Message -----
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 01:24:41 -0500
Subject: Muslim women filmmakers...

> Hi -- I wonder if anyone can help me find texts that discuss the works of Muslim women filmmakers?
> Thanks
> Z.S
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