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2018 SDAFF Spring Showcase


Directed by Edmund Yeo

Falling for Angels: the Films of Yasmin Ahmad / Japan, Malaysia / 2017 / documentary / 70 mins / English, Japanese, Malay, Mandarin with English subtitles / DCP / North American Premiere


UltraStar Mission Valley
Sunday, Apr 22, 2018 7:35PM


Official Selection, 2017 Tokyo International Film Festival

In 2016, Japanese director Isao Yukisada went to Malaysia to make a short film entitled Pigeon. Up to that point, his connection to Malaysia was a family one – his grandfather’s brothers died there during the Japanese occupation – and a cinematic one – his picture of the nation was shaped by the films of Yasmin Ahmad. Acclaimed Malaysian director Edmond Yeo captures moments on the set, interviewing the filmmakers who acknowledge that undergirding Pigeon is Yasmin’s DNA, embodied most impactfully in the casting of Yasmin regular Sharifah Amani (Sepet, Muallaf).

But halfway through the documentary, light peers down through the trees and we’re touched by something more than genetic makeup. Memories are conjured. We see Yasmin in home videos that reveal just why her film characters are so prone to dance, why they have such cool parents, and why everyone oozes with embarrassing amounts of family love. We hear Yasmin’s words, a combination of folksy wisdom and cosmopolitan grace. And we witness filmmakers from two cultures recognizing a torturous colonial history yet committing to coming together as artistic collaborators, not unlike the surprising friendships in Yasmin’s multicultural dramas. Less a documentary about Yasmin than a documentary about her enduring spirit, YASMIN-SAN honors the beloved director through the films that, nearly a decade after her passing, continue to bear her name. –Brian Hu

Co-presented by: San Diego Yokohama Sister City Society

Director's Bio

2011: 60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero
2014: River of Exploding Durians
2017: Aqerat: We, the Dead


Executive Producer: Woo Ming Jin
Producer: Lim Ying Xian
Featuring: Sharifah Amani, Isao Yukisada, Yasmin Ahmad, Ahmad Hashim

Preceded By


    Yasmin Ahmad / Malaysia / 2009 / drama / 3 mins
    Hurt may beget hate, but it’s worth remembering the friendship that could have been.

    Precedes: YASMIN-SAN

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Dates & Times


UltraStar Mission Valley
Sunday, Apr 22, 2018 7:35PM