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Sepet
Slit Eye

Sepet film poster
Directed by Yasmin Ahmad
Produced by Rosnah Kassim
Elyna Shukri
Written by Yasmin Ahmad
Starring Ng Choo Seong as Jason (Ah Loong)
Sharifah Amani as Orked
Linus Chung as Keong
Harith Iskandar as Pak Atan
Ida Nerina as Mak Inom
Adibah Noor as Kak Yam
Tan Mei Ling as Ma
Thor Kar Hoong as Pa
Cinematography Low Soon Keong
Editing by Affandi Jamaludin
Release date(s) February 24, 2005
Running time 104 minutes
Country Malaysia
Language English
Malay
Cantonese
Hokkien
Mandarin
Followed by Gubra (2006)

Sepet is a 2004 Malaysian romantic comedy drama film set in Ipoh, Malaysia. Directed by Yasmin Ahmad, it tells a tale of a love that blooms between a Chinese boy and a Malay girl. Sepet is a Malay word which, in this context, refers to the 'slit eyes' of the Chinese.

Contents

Plot

19-year old Ah Loong (who also called himself "Jason") is in charge of a stall selling pirated VCDs. Contrary to the stereotype of his social standing, Ah Loong is an incurable romantic with an unlikely hobby: He loves to read and write poetry. Quite content to carry on being the Romeo of the slums, Ah Loong's life takes a sudden turn one day when a Malay schoolgirl, Orked, arrives at his stall. She is in search of films starring her favorite actor Takeshi Kaneshiro. Love blossoms between Orked and Ah Loong, although there are social and racial pressures that stand in their way.

In the end, Ah Loong is involved in a motor vehicle accident while Orked is going to England to pursue her studies. It is not clear if he lived or died until the sequel, Gubra which shows that Jason really did die. After the credits finish rolling however, Orked is shown wearing a wedding ring sleeping beside Jason, who also has a wedding ring. In Mukhsin, Jason and the adult Orked are shown to be living together. However, the adult Orked is not called by her name in this scene as the young Orked is.

Cast

  • Choo Seong Ng as Jason (Ah Loong)
  • Sharifah Amani as Orked
  • Linus Chung as Keong
  • Mei Ling Tan as Mah (Ah Loong's mother)
  • Ida Nerina as Mak (Orked's mother)
  • Harith Iskander as Abah (Orked's father)
  • Adibah Noor as Kak Yam
  • Kar Hoong Thor as Pah (Ah Loong's father)
  • Zehan Marissa as Lin

Awards

18th Tokyo International Film Festival 2005
  • Best Asian Film Award
Ninth Malaysian Video Awards
  • Best Film

27th Créteil International Women's Film Festival in France

  • Best Film
18th Malaysian Film Festival
  • Best Film
  • Best Original Screenplay (Yasmin Ahmad)
  • Best Poster
  • Best Supporting Actress (Ida Nerina)
  • Most Promising Actor (Ng Choo Seong)
  • Most Promising Actress (Sharifah Amani)
Global Chinese Golden Arts Awards
  • Best Film
Anugerah Era 2005
  • Best Film

Sequels

The sequel to Sepet, called Gubra, was filmed in Ipoh, Malaysia and released in 2006. The third movie in Yasmin Ahmad's Orked trilogy is a prequel to both Sepet and Gubra, titled Mukhsin.

Social commentary

Being cynical in character, Yasmin Ahmad included a few sarcastic remarks of today's Malaysian society in her film:

  1. Orked had on a few occasions sarcastically criticized her friend, Ling, about her obsession with Western male celebrities, particularly Leonardo Dicaprio. She even told off Ling's Western-facelike Malay boyfriend for failing his English in the SPM examinations. This was in reference to the teenage Malays nowadays' obsession with Western celebrities.
  2. Orked rebutted Ling's boyfriend for questioning her love relationship with a non-Malay, i.e. Jason, by telling him Malay men had been marrying non-Malays for generations. This indirectly referred to today's quite prevailing biased perceptions of people having inter-racial love relationships. It was also expressed through Keong's dialogue with Jason when the former was hospitalized. Keong had said people in the olden times can marry each other regardless of race but people in the today's more civilized society tend to fight over and think too much of such matters.
  3. Mak Inom expressed her gratefulness to God after knowing Orked obtained a scholarship to study overseas despite getting 5As in the SPM examinations. Kak Yam, who was sitting beside her, solemnly said Jason had 7As (probably a few years back but wasn't even offered a scholarshhip). This indirectly criticized the Malaysian Government's perceived biased treatment in handing out scholarships to non-Bumiputras.

External links

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