Malaysia bans film "The Last Communist"

Monday, May 29, 2006

Malaysia — Manjit Kaur of the Malaysian Star reports the controversial documentary The Last Communist or Lelaki Komunis Terahkir has finally been banned by the Home Ministry under the Film Censorship Act 1991.

The film was passed without any cuts by the National Film Censorship board in March but the Home Ministry retracted the approval ten days before film was scheduled to start screening.

The film is described as a "semi-musical documentary" and is inspired by the leader of the disbanded Malayan Communist Party, Chin Peng and the Malayan Emergency during which over ten thousand Malayan and British troops and civilians lost their lives.

The film features "interviews with the people in the towns [Peng] lived from birth to national independence" that is "interspersed with specially composed songs in the mould of old-fashioned propaganda films." The film made its world debut at the Berlin Film Festival. It also appeared at this year's Seattle International Film Festival and the London Film Festival.

The ban comes after Berita Harian, a conservative Malay daily, printed a series of articles critical of the film and the Censorship board. In the first article, the reporters ask government ministers and professors to comment on the impact of the film.

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