Panels to review 'The New Village'

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013

PETALING JAYA: The Film Censorship Board will set up two panels to review the local film The New Village following complaints that it glorified communism.

Its chairman Datuk Raja Azahar Raja Abdul Manap said the board had already reviewed the film and gave it the green light for screening as it followed the guidelines.

“It follows the guidelines such as religious sensitivity, socio-cultures and dialogues – to mention a few. When the new issue (glorifying communism) came up, we have to review the film all over again.

“As for now, we can’t really comment. But as far as following the board’s normal guidelines, we have already given the film the green light for screening,” he said, adding that the board hoped to give a full statement in a couple of days on the matter.

Also known as Xin Cun in Mandarin, the made-in-Malaysia production had been given the nod to start screening in local cinemas on Aug 22.

As at press time, the director and the film production company were away for a shoot and could not be reached for a comment.

The 104-minute Mandarin film, which is directed by Wong Kew Lit and produced by Yellow Pictures and Astro Shaw, has Lenna Lim, Kevin Soo, Teh Young, Khor Ewe Pin, Jeff Chin, Siow Hui Mei and Bernard Hiew as its cast.

The film revolves around a pair of star-crossed lovers whose lives were turned upside down when 500,000 local Chinese were taken from their homes and put into 480 resettlement camps during the 1948-1960 Emergency period in the Malay peninsula.

A statement from Astro Shaw and Yellow Pictures said that the movie had been given a P13 classification with no cuts.

At another function, Com­munications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek clarified that it was the board that approved the film and not National Film Develop­ment Corporation Malaysia.

In a statement, Umno Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he had questioned why the film was given an “easier ride” by the board as compared to Tanda Putera, whose screening was delayed by a year until Aug 29.

“Considering the pain and tragedy attached to the points of history at which both films are situated, it was a question I raised to ensure that the sensitivities of all Malaysians were taken into account – what with the screening of the two films meant to happen in the month of our Independence,” he said.

The Youth and Sports Minister said although he understood that there could be different readings of historical accounts, it was an indisputable fact that the Communist Party of Malaya had terrorised and murdered thousands of Malaysians.

Khairy was responding to accusations by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng that he was stoking racism over his comments on the film.

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