Five films you need to watch if you are thinking of joining a rally.
PusatRakyatLB brings you a film festival about oppressive states, people’s power and the feisty way history moves when the two collide. Great political movies awaken us to oppressive realities we have normalised in our lives, remind us of the things worth fighting for, and challenge us to rattle the chains a little harder. So, for those ready to take their dreams to the street, come join us to watch these critically-acclaimed, inspiring films. Who knows, maybe this time the chains come off.
PEOPLE POWER FILM FEST
Mon 4 – Fri 8 Jul, 8pm nightly
Add: 3-4, 4th Floor, Jalan Bangsar Utama 3, Bangsar Utama, 59000 KL.
Tel: 03 2201 1454
Mon 4 Jul, 8pm
THE BIG DURIAN
Dir: Amir Muhammad | 2003 | Malaysia | 1hr 14min
A soldier ran amok with an M16 in the area of Chow Kit, Kuala Lumpur, on the night of 18 October 1987. A few days later, the government of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad began a nationwide crackdown, detaining over 100 opposition leaders and members of civil society organizations, in what became known as Operasi Lalang. The Big Durian speaks to 23 Malaysians – some real, some fictional – to find out what is real and what isn’t. As Malaysia is once again arresting dissidents, this film helps us see how the state exploits a politics of fear and engineers a sense of hysteria to gain more control.
The Village Voice said that The Big Durian is an “impertinent love-letter to the citizens of Kuala Lumpur that does not let them off the hook for their apathy.”
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Tue 5 Jul, 8pm
BATTLE IN SEATTLE
Dir: Stuart Townsend | 2007 | USA | 1hr 39min
During the historic WTO protest in 1999, tens of thousands of activists arrive in Seattle to protest the World Trade Organization conferenece, which protesters claim will contribute to widening the gap between the rich and the poor. Although the protest began peacefully, police began teargassing the crowd and the situation escalated into a full-scale riot and a State of Emergency, even as the movement becomes torn by conflicting emotions and ideologies. The film shows how both protesters and authorities were unprepared for the way things turned out.
Protester to Police: “The people I’m really trying to fight are the ones who destroy so much, and they hurt so many lives. Not just one. Literally, millions. And no one ever points a gun at them. You know, they just seem so, unaccountable. Untouchable. Just seems kind of fucked that you’re… You and me are the ones that have to fight each other.”
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Wed 6 Jul, 8pm
Dir: Stanley Kubrick | 1960 | USA | 3hr 17min
This award-winning epic film tells the historical tale of the slave Spartacus who lead a slave uprising against the Roman Republic in 73-71 BC. Under the leadership of Spartacus, slaves and gladiators fought their way to southern Italy, where they would have crossed the sea and returned to their homes. Meanwhile, in Rome, the slave revolt became part of the power struggle between two senators: the republican Gracchus and the militarist Crassus (deliciously played by Charles Laughton and Laurence Olivier).
Spartacus’ wife: “I remember that he started out all alone. And yet, on the day he died, thousands and thousands died in his place.”
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Thu 7 Jul, 8pm
Dir: Costa Gavras | 1969 | France/Algeria | 2hr 7min
Before V, there was Z. The film presents a thinly fictionalized account of the events surrounding the 1963 assassination of democratic Greek politician Grigoris Lambrakis, who was attacked by agent provocateurs at a rally where he advocated for nuclear disarmament. With its satirical view of Greek politics, particularly the state’s attempts at covering up the attack, the film captures the outrage about the military dictatorship that ruled Greece at the time of its making. This classic political thriller is still relevant today – the tactics of tyrants have remained the same.
“Why do the ideas we stand for incite such violence?”
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Fri 8 Jul, 8pm
Dir: Richard Attenborough | 1982 | UK/India | 3hr 11min
The film won 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor (Ben Kingsley). Based on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India. Whether fighting for the rights of Indians in South Africa, or going to prisons for what he believed in, or leading India to independence, Gandhi had become, in the words of General George C. Marshall, “the spokesman for the conscience of mankind, a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires.”
Gandhi: “Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always.”