Directed by Edmund Yeo
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
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
Yasmin Ahmad / Malaysia / 2009 / drama / 3 minsHurt may beget hate, but it’s worth remembering the friendship that could have been.