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1 Apr 2011

Malaysian 'gay' film breaks new ground but...

It is said to be breaking new ground for being Malaysia's first feature film with gay lead characters but members of the LGBT community say the film may in fact perpetuate common misconceptions of gay and transgender people.

News of the controversial movie started making its rounds more than a year ago. Dalam Botol, which is dubbed Malaysia's first ‘gay-themed’ romance movie, had producers worried that its ‘gay’ theme may suffer at the hands of the country’s censors and repel audiences. But as it turns out, the latter fear is unfounded.

According to local media reports, the film's producer Raja Azmi Raja Sulaiman said Dalam Botol has made slightly more than RM 1 million (US$330,500) in five days since it opened in theatres on March 24 surpassing its production and marketing costs of RM970,000.

The Malay-language film revolves around two men, one of whom undergoes a sex change to become a woman to please his lover although ‘she’ later regrets her decision when he falls in love with a woman.

Directed by Khir Rahman, Dalam Botol (In a Bottle) is said to
be Malaysia's first feature film with 'gay' lead characters. It stars 
Arja Lee whose character has a sex-change procedure in a
misguided attempt to please his lover.

Censorship issues

Originally titled Anu Dalam Botol (Penis In A Bottle), producers had to drop the offending word after the censorship board objected. According to a report published in the New York Times last year, the producer said the final version was approved after she agreed to several changes after meeting with the board. She was also advised not to include intimate bedroom scenes.

While the censors may allow kissing and sex scenes in locally released foreign films, Malaysian-made films are generally not allowed to do so. “In any Hollywood film, kissing is part of the culture,” explained Mohammad Hussain, chairman of the Film Censorship Board, in the Times. “We [in Malaysia] don’t go on kissing in public so we don’t allow that to be portrayed in our local films,” he added.

In early 2010, Malaysia eased film censorship guidelines to allow the depiction of gay characters – provided they either repent or “become” straight. Sodomy and oral sex is criminalised under sections 377A and 377B of the Malaysian Penal Code and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and caning.

Producer Raja Azmi says she hopes the film would send a clear message to the public about gay culture. “Dalam Botol is my way of preaching to remind society not to be influenced with gay culture that is taboo in this country," she was quoted as saying in an interview on the state-run Bernama Radio24 programme "Kerusi Panas" on Tuesday night.

But in the UK's Guardian newspaper, she revealed that the story is based on a true story of a friend who regretted having a sex-change procedure. She said: "If my film has a message, it's please don't change yourself for love. My friend has suffered so much, and I don't want other people to suffer like him."

Reactions from Malaysia’s LGBT community

While the film is regarded to be a breakthrough and often referred to as Malaysia’s Brokeback mountain by the media, members of Malaysia’s LGBT community are not embracing it as such.

Is the protagonist gay or transsexual? I can’t tell, and it seems, neither could he/she.” Prominent commentator Pang Khee Teik wrote in a review on Loyarburok.com. He is referring to one of the main character’s decision to undergo a sex reassignment surgery to become a woman although it appears that he doesn’t identify as transgender, one of the main points of contention of the film.

The movie “totally mixes up sexual orientation and gender identity,” transgender activist Yuki Choe tells Fridae. It erroneously conveys to viewers that “one half of a gay male couple wants to or would eventually become a transsexual female and/or transsexual females are gay men and vice versa.”

The movie also reinforces a commonly held stereotype that gay men are “confused heterosexuals and they will finally regret, repent and change once they find the right girl.”

While Pang acknowledges that Dalam Botol is not representative of gay or transgender experiences in Malaysia, he says he “completely supports the right of filmmakers to represent their own stories just as he supports the right of characters to make stupid choices.”

Acknowledging that filmmakers in Malaysia have to be more creative when faced with strict censorship guidelines, Pang suggests that an alternative reading of the film may be required. “Interestingly, the regret expressed by the main character at the end of the film does not really amount to repentance. The character never really repented, he just got even more ‘emo’ than he already was. The slippage between regret and repentance makes this film quite subversive. Really.”

But on a more practical level, Pang says the film also serves as a plain reminder that “more education and empowerment is needed so that people who are going through such issues don’t make hasty choices.”

“With proper counselling, it is possible that the protagonist may understand he is just a gay man – a gay man is a man, no need to reassign his sex. Or if she does identify as a woman, perhaps she could understand the consequences so she doesn’t regret it later.”

If you have watched the film, what are your thoughts of Dalam Botol? Despite its flaws, do you think the film will create opportunities for more discussion and understanding of sexualty-related issues in Malaysia?

Reader's Comments

1. 2011-04-01 19:13  
Watched the film last week. Love it! The storytelling, pacing, acting, dialogues, visual, everything but kinda slow. I won't share detail comment since many haven't watch it:)
2. 2011-04-01 20:33  
cant wait to watch..
Comment #3 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-01 23:52
4. 2011-04-01 20:48  
Another brick in the Malaysian wall of ignorance and delusion
5. 2011-04-01 22:36  
sick lah this movie, gay-turn-straight and what, according to the director it's "a lesson to homosexuals to not be influenced by gay culture". o__O ?????????
anyway, i think this short movie (see link) is WAY better:
6. 2011-04-01 23:01  
A friend who watched it says: Rubbish
7. 2011-04-01 23:34  
theres no such thing gay turn straight!
8. 2011-04-02 00:16  
'you think i like you this way?'

i love the impact of the dialogue, we're born this way, i don't think there's a need to go for the sex-change operation.
9. 2011-04-02 01:08  
Gay turns straight? it's kinda cool! it happened to me!
10. 2011-04-02 05:48  
I don't think ANYONE is good enough for sum1 to undergo a sex change operation for that person! We are all beautiful in our own ways and I would say F**k those ppl that can't appreciate us for who we are!!
Comment #11 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-02 08:30
12. 2011-04-02 08:40  
guys, this is Malaysia unfortunately. And we are well-known GLOBALLY to be a gay-hater country since Adam Lambert's concert last year. Everyone (foreigners I mean) was like, "What the hell?" Malu sial~~~~~~

alessio: yea tell me about it :D
13. 2011-04-02 09:10  
In the 1970s in the West, I remember the first movies that dared to feature gay characters... they were either trashy or tragic and both staged nothing but stereotypes. Roughly gays were presented as :
1. sex maniacs who spent 80% of their life getting off in men's public toilets and ended up dead, or
2. pathetic creatures who loved impossible loves and ended up dead.

From the public came the same paradoxical reaction that I see here. On the one hand it's hey, look, they're talking about us... but then ooops, it's not really us, is it ?

If staying in the closet was a good idea, we would know by now, because that's where gays were for hundreds of years and it didn't do them any good. By now and ever since Stonewall we also know that getting OUT of the closet is the only sensible, reasonable, mature and politically responsible option. But the image ("getting out of the closet") is deceiptful because to get out of a closet you just open the door and leave. Looks easy and short, but most gays can't do that - it is inevitably a long process.
A double process too : there's what goes on inside our mind, and then there's the society we're coming out into. Both have a long way to go, both have to make efforts, and for society to make those efforts it has to understand that there is a gain. Is that idea universally acknowledged around the world at present ? of course not, and not even in the countries which are now supposedly and officially "gay friendly".

So.... it seems to me that this movie is just a step within a long process. No need to mock it or trash it, no need to be in awe either, just be glad that it's there for what it is : a contribution in its own way.

One last thing, has the producer really said this : “Dalam Botol is my way of preaching to remind society not to be influenced with gay culture that is taboo in this country" ???

I read it again and again and it's downright homophobic so is there a grammatical mistake or is it something I just don't get ? Filmmakers should be allowed to make whatever films they want as long as it doesn't openly support horrible things, and too much censorship leads to a film industry that produces nothing but politically correct crap, we all know that. OK, the film is one thing but the comments made in TV interviews by the films makers therafter are a different story. In this case, she talks exactly as if that movie was deliberate propaganda ! Scary !
14. 2011-04-02 09:12  
sad to say the premise of the film itself is very far removed from the truth. ignorant masses thrive on seeing how ridiculous gay people are....and this film fuels it
Comment #15 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-02 10:05
16. 2011-04-02 10:14  
Yveserwan, good points you brought up about coming out -- both as individuals and characters in films -- being a long process.

I wrote the article above and did check the producer's quote and found that it had been similarly reported in The Star newspaper.

"For me, this film is my soapbox to remind society not to be influenced by gay culture, which is considered taboo in this country," she said during an interview with Bernama Radio24.

But her quote about the film being based on her friend's experience is reasonable and somewhat provides another perspective to her views above. Was the interview conducted in Malay? If so, did anyone catch it and can provide an alternate translation?
Comment edited on 2011-04-02 10:17:20
17. 2011-04-02 12:40  
thanks for the feedback Suede... which unfortunately confirms that this lady has a shockingly homophobic attitude.
If I understand well, what she implies is that her friend had his dick cut off because the ugly and rampant gay culture in Malaysia was telling him it was cool and OK to do it... pathetic...

Is Malaysian society in great danger of being flooded by gay culture ? Of course not, IT'S THE OTHER WAY ROUND, just like in ANY country where gays are born and brought up in societies which in the best of cases DO NOT LIKE THEM, sometimes openly HATES them and eventually KILLS them lke the revolting freaks they're supposed to be, so give us a break and give us some respect too ! I wonder what the theme of her next movie will be... perhaps a child "becoming" gay because he sees too much "gay culture" around him/her ? Jeeeeeeesus !!!

By the way, what is gay culture anyway ? What does going to get a sex change when you're not really attracted to men has to do with gay CULTURE ? Is gay culture about nothing but sex change ? Is being gay equivalent to being transgender ? Is that what she implies ? If it is, then she is not only narrow minded, unfair and bigoted, she's also amazingly ignorant. A comment here (which curiously was deleted) said "another film which deliberately confuses gender, sexuality and identity" or something to that effect. Absolutely right. Again, directors/producers are welcome to make whatever film they want and say whatever they want to say, including the worst possible crap, but the least you should do before releasing a piece like this is some serious research. Because when you do research, you usually find out that clichés are the exact opposite of reality and that reality is a million times more interesting and rich than stereotypes.

Bottom line is... it seems to me that this lady had a painful experience seeing her friend going through so much pain. We can all relate to that and sympathize, but then she looks for someone to blame and... lo and behold, who's to blame ? gay culture ie GAYS ! LOL... what else is new ?
18. 2011-04-02 13:11  
...And gays who spend their pink ringgit (or whatever currency of the same color) to go and see a movie like this are pretty much like bulls buying a ticket for the corrida...
Keep your hard earned cash for people who LIKE and RESPECT you, my friends !!!
Comment edited on 2011-04-02 14:11:33
19. 2011-04-02 14:58  
'While the censors may allow kissing and sex scenes in locally released foreign films, Malaysian-made films are generally not allowed to do so.'

unless it involves opposition politicians..
20. 2011-04-02 17:47  
malaysian tv channels are FULL with gay characters, almost in every programm. and then this movie that isnt worth anyone's time. a country with full of crap and hypocrisy. how can one be a muslim and yet be gay?
21. 2011-04-02 18:27  
I read a while back A guy in Europe had his dick lopped then regretted it too, last I read he was re-assigning again? I guess it does happen, but how could he then make the new one work? the psychologists must be quacks to get it so wrong, the movie does sound appalling, broke back was dull as I had to speed it just to get it over and done with the book was horrendous enough the writer had absolutely no idea about being a real gay man just misguided fantasy at work, the movie was some what sanitised the book characters wern't pretty at all in fact they read as hideous grunty men rootin in those there hills
22. 2011-04-02 19:34  
substitute post #20

You've got it the wrong way around mate... it should be how can one be gay and be a muslim... A person's sexuality it a characteristic present at birth... a person's religion is the result of subsequent indoctrination... in the case of Islam compulsory indoctrination
23. 2011-04-02 19:38  
@white_rabbity: LOL XD I LIKE YOUR COMMENT!!!

anyway, i'd seriously want the director to define "gay culture".
24. 2011-04-02 20:46  
i support the notion that you shouldnt change who you are just to please your loved one but i find it distressing that for a movie director bend her will for the notion of a public censor that each gay men will eventually turn 'straight'. Psft....riite alot of denial, alot of pleasing and lots of bullshit.
25. 2011-04-02 22:48  
I know the star of this movie, so I'm keen to see it. Anyone know where it's showing in the KL area? I haven't seen it at the cinemas where I work yet... (and does it have English subtitles?? Haha, I bet not.)
Comment edited on 2011-04-02 22:50:54
26. 2011-04-03 00:05  
the actor of this movie is my classmate....so....for me..actually.....it still very long far away to make gay acceptance in malaysia....( in kl...it more tolerance....)
27. 2011-04-03 02:27  
Can a guy imagines or psychological treats himself or changes himself to be a female and loving another guy still be considered as Homosexual / gay?
For me, if someone is no more a man or psychologically no more a man loving a man is not Homosexual or gay at all.
28. 2011-04-03 07:23  
@ Yveserwan #13/#17/#18- Hear Hear!!! :-)
Comment #29 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-03 07:29
30. 2011-04-03 07:26  
It would be more accurate to describe this movie as having a transsexual, not gay theme. Clearly betrays the fact that the film's producer (Raja Azmi) is not an insider. ;->
31. 2011-04-03 09:12  
The plot doesn't even make sense. Who goes through a sex change for someone else?
32. 2011-04-03 09:17  
haha. and of course the half-Chinese guy has to play the one getting the sex change.
Comment #33 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-03 09:56
34. 2011-04-03 10:30  
It is doubtful about what the director had said.

For a person to have plu friend, she wouldn't discriminate our kind. Perhaps in reality, this friend had his dick cut off, but later "she" is not accepted by the most of the gay men as.... I myself wouldn't find a lady boy as a lover. So if this is the case, then the message trying to bring to us should be "don't undergo transgender operation".

I really doubt a lady boy would fall in love with another woman, this is just funny. Should that be the case, "she" can approach lesbian why not?
35. 2011-04-03 11:13  
I have not watch the movie yet, but i don't think i will watch it. I felt we are born this way and therefore we must live ourself like normal ... i.e. when we want respect from the society, we should know how to behave & respect ourself first, we can only demand when we are in a clean image! What people talk and rate about us is no longer important ... - Simon
36. 2011-04-03 11:53  
why always sissy ( bencong/banci with girls atribute & etc ) !!!!!!!
Comment #37 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-03 12:28
38. 2011-04-03 12:27  
I am Pang, the one whose review is quoted in the article above.

It is disappointing that so many LGBTs are dismissing the film without watching it first. If we don’t want people to dismiss us without giving us a chance to hear us, we must not do the same to others.

I understand that the producer does not help by going around saying things like the film is meant to educate people not to be influenced by gay culture, or to educate people not to go for sex change. Perhaps what she meant is that the lesson is to educate gays NOT to go for sex change, because gays are not the ones who need sex change. Anyhow, I am not defending her. Her public statements are not consistent and she seems to keep changing her stance.

In this later interview with The Sun, she said:

"I’m just telling a story. Some people go for sex change surgery without considering the pros and cons. They do it because their friends are doing it. My movie is targeted at those who are contemplating having a sex change. I am highlighting the other side of the coin.

"I have a few friends who are gay. As a Muslim, it is said you should not be supporting them. But I understand them as human beings and I am not going to judge them. Whatever their sins, it is between God and them. It is for God to judge them. Why should I discriminate against them? I am no angel. I have my sins too."

And to the question: "What is your stand on people who have a different sexual orientation and people who undergo a sex change?", she said:

"They are very brave. They dare to follow their heart. They dare go against religion and face society’s discrimination."

Perhaps in earlier interviews, she was trying to say things that will persuade the authorities to pass the film. I believe there are more creative ways to deal with that strategy of getting passed by censors then selling your soul and alienating your audience. She should just shut up and say, "Watch the film and find out for yourselves." Or hire a proper PR company.

Art is not so straightforward. Artists have many creative strategies to fulfill a stupid guideline while subverting it at the same time. Go and be creative! It is only by making more daring films that we will force the guidelines to be dismantled bit by bit.

I maintain that the film itself is not so clear in providing a message. Any film is as simple or as subversive as how we CHOOSE to read it. The director seems to have subverted the writer’s simplistic message and created a film that is more subtle and complex. Go and watch it and offer our alternative readings and reclaim the message. The rest of my review is in the LoyarBurok link provided under the article. You can see how I chose to read the film.

Even if we don’t agree with a film, it is important to know what is being said about us. I urge people to watch the film before judging it. Otherwise, we are no different from those homophobes who hate us before giving us a chance.
39. 2011-04-03 12:42  
Sexual Orientation really complicating, Yes, to many people there is not such thing "turn straight", however there are cases gay really turn straight in very low percentage. Perhaps, everybody is in different "sexual orientation" levels, some 100% psychology pure gay; whereas some 80-20, 60-40 towards girls, else bisexual...
One should have "mock" transgendered life before real operation because that is really 2 different life 360 degrees upside down.
40. 2011-04-03 17:31  
#38, Though your post is insightful, I would contend that dismissing a single film is not remotely on par with dismissing an entire class of human beings, and thus, must completely disagree with the last paragraph.
41. 2011-04-03 17:59  
“Dalam Botol is my way of preaching to remind society not to be influenced with gay culture that is taboo in this country," she was quoted as saying in an interview on the state-run Bernama Radio24 programme "Kerusi Panas" on Tuesday night.

So she tell ppl abt a gay related story but bcos of her religion, society and/or $$$, then she has to act hypocrite??

Hmmm....above statement sound homophobic enough to me.
I guess most preacher like that. :/
42. 2011-04-03 18:30  
chadm (#40) I totally agree with you. I found Mr Pang's comment extremely well written and interesting but honestly most of his arguments can easily be countered, the weakest one being the one you spotted ie putting "our" wish to boycott this film on par with homophobia.

When I suggested not spending "pink ringgits" on that movie, I based my opinion on something that the producer actually SAID, and said SEVERAL TIMES. If she has the brains to produce a movie she can't be half witted to the point of not realizing that her comment was unacceptably homophobic.
Homophobia (including hers) is based on irrational fears, mis-interpretations, mis-conceptions and age-old taboos. So it's not the same thing AT ALL.

Pang, you are obviously a chivalrous gentleman but I have a distinct feeling that this lady is no damsel in distress. Gay people of Malaysia and hundreds of other countries where homophobia is the official stance, gay people who are ostracized, discriminated, hated, laughed upon, they're the ones who need your compassion, your insight and your intelligent pen, more than this highly suspicious lady who's already rubbing her hands with satisfaction at having received a lot of cash from the people she obviously dislikes, no matter what half-hearted comments she made otherwise.

Sorry to finish a sad note but can we all have a thought for David Kato, the Ugandan gay activist who was bludgeoned to death near his home on January 26 at the age of 46 ?
Comment edited on 2011-04-03 18:44:01
43. 2011-04-03 21:17  
I really love this movie. Especially the story line between actor and his girl friend. Mother performed delicately too.
44. 2011-04-03 22:15  
Chadm & Yveserwan,

Yes, I might have somewhat exeggerated in comparing homphobia to the call to boycott a film. I apologise if that sounded glib. But my point was that one shouldn't judge a thing before seeing it -- and it is something I strongly believe in as both a gay activist as well as an arts activist.

I am not trying to defend the producer. She seems to be saying a lot of contradictory nonsense in different contexts as if trying to justify different reasons to different audiences. In the past, she had even condemned another director for making a movie about a tale of interracial love -- and I love that director for daring to push a story in a country for which interracial love is still taboo.

Here is what I think is interesting. That the movie surprised me by being DIFFERENT from what both the producer claimed she intended and what the synopsis set it out to be. I went in expecting to hate the film. I came out being intrigued by its potential. One could almost say that the director and actors might have actually made more ambiguous what the writer-producer was hoping to make obvious. And this lent itself to possible readings that are entirely different.

In Malaysia, there is a rock band called Hujan. They are very homophobic and often say negative things about gays during their concerts. However, they have a song called Pagi Yang Gelap (The Dark Dawn) that is about a younger brother waiting for an older brother to return home. In Malay, the terms younger brother and older brother are often terms of endearment between lovers. So quite unexpectedly, Malay gays have claimed this song as a little gay anthem, in spite of the band being homophobic. I think this gesture must have been quite upsetting to the band. And it is this form of subversion I am suggesting when I say we reclaim the movie with our queer interpretation, because the movie actually allows for it.

Finally, please also consider this review by well known independent filmmaker and writer Amir Muhammad. Amir has had two films banned in Malaysia (they were both about communists), and his publishing company has published two queer short story anthologies. I agree with him when he said:

"It's neither anti-gay nor pro-gay. In fact, Bidin's gayness is taken as a given. But his passivity (which is nowhere shown to be linked to his sexuality) ensures that he always makes the wrong decisions at the behest of others: first his boyfriend, then his (dead) father, then his mother, then his "girlfriend." As in the works of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the protagonist here seems to be masochistically complicit in his own victimhood. This will dismay those who think that protagonists should always be role-models of some sort (call it The Oprah Syndrome), but it's also an affective way to open up the power relations in the society it depicts." (read the rest of the review here: http://amirmu.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-bottle.html)

In short, I repeat this point: There is no need to identify this movie as representative of gays in Malaysia. It is NOT. And it doesn't need to be. Yes we have so few representations that we become desperate to claim representations from just about anything that when presented this, we come away with hopes dashed.

But Danish men don't complain they are misrepresented by Hamlet and straight people don't complain they are misrepresented by Charlie Sheen. Of course, they have a wider pool of representations from which to draw.

And so what I think is a more legitimate challenge is: to challenge the restrictive Censorship Guideline that requires LGBT characters to repent, in order that we may have a bigger rainbow pallette of characters to call our own. We should allow directors to make any film they want to make, and allow other directors to make more stories to reflect the diverse realities of LGBTs -- or not. That's all.

The fact that this film's character is misinformed about sexuality and transgenderism is legitimate -- some people are misinformed, gays included. If there are any lessons, it could be that SOME gays in Malaysia are trapped by their lack of space for self expression and lack of access to information and empowerment to make better choices. In the end, the protagonist, due to reasons not explained and therefore up to the audience to speculate, ran away from the wedding meant for him and the girl (it wasn't even clear if he actually loved the girl as he ran away from her during a scene when she attempted to kiss him). In the end, for reasons known only to himself, he couldn't bring himself to commit to the girl -- and left everyone in tears. And therefore this movie could be USED to champion better information and not to force gay people to become what they are not.
45. 2011-04-03 22:47  
Amusing (if not disturbing) that those so negative about this film havent even seen it and by suggesting that it be 'boycotted' may essentially block any potential good that could come from further analysis whether supportive of its 'message' or not.

As with all Art, be it literature, film, photography or even a painting, everybody can see something different. It speaks to us in a myriad of ways on an emotional level.

As fridae prefaces the comments:

"If you have watched the film, what are your thoughts of Dalam Botol? Despite its flaws, do you think the film will create opportunities for more discussion and understanding of sexualty-related issues in Malaysia?"
Comment edited on 2011-04-03 22:59:23
Comment #46 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-03 23:22
47. 2011-04-03 23:35  
I read this forum with a bit of amusement. One film, one 'story'. Do we each feel like one film or even a hundred films could tell our individual story? For myself, I can say 'no'. But all stories tell us something; they tell us about ourselves through our own reactions, about others through their reactions. That's value, even when the films themselves are negative or even hateful.

I haven't seen the film, heard the producer's interviews and have a high degree of ignorance of the matter. However, what I see in the comments that are accruing on this issue and pretty much any issue where comments accrue is that we each react from the perspective of our own story. In some ways, it's a wonderful picture about uniqueness and individuality. On another is says clearly that there is no homogeneous gay community, nor transgender, bi, straight or any other communities you might care to think of. There are just innumerable communities of one trying to bind with others, looking to 'belong'. For me, the lesson is this, not the points of the movie or of the producers or any of this other shite.

Accept you are an island unto yourself, accept that all others are as well, and accept there is community in difference as much as similarity. Then let it be. All things change eventually, bad to good and often right back again. It's life...

Oops. I might be off my meds. So many apologies Ladies, Gents and all others :-)
48. 2011-04-03 23:43  
Went to watch the movie just now at KL Ampang Dynasty. Noticed quite a number of Malay dykes in the audience too! My 2 cents worth - the plot is too simple, too intense with emotion & realisticly shallow..but it's just the beginning..Malaysian queer movie production is starting from an infant stage..and soon, I promise you all that with this one allowed to be shown in the public, more exciting queer productions will follow...and i m hoping for a "Queer As Folks (Malaysia)" production next...! (Agreed with Amazingly, I also thought the producer had to blurt a few lines of lie to get her production pass the authority for screening..otherwise she'll be making unrecoverable losses from her production costs)
49. 2011-04-03 23:51  
On another note - the consoling part is that the actor looks handsome and cool when he is not in drag! Reminds me of the looks of the gay character actor in Thai's queer movie "Silom Soi 2"!
50. 2011-04-03 23:52  
nothing is perfect, at least this film had give some good warning to be not so hasty to do something like changing sexuality, this is a good start for malaysia anyway :)
51. 2011-04-04 02:21  
watch this,.....miss malaysia 2010 ( miss transexual malaysia )...held in east coast malaysia....guest artist r malaysian famous singer....n emcee r...1 of gay producer in channel radio


they r no raid at all.....dont think in malaysia cant happen like this...proud of them
Comment #52 was deleted by its author on 2011-04-04 02:27
53. 2011-04-04 02:28  
ChrysanT: My polite disagreement. All we request is a little dignity. I'm sure in yr life you've come across patronizing assholes who think they know you better than you know yourself... ask yourself (and let's be honest here) do you enjoy being treated and talked down upon in this manner? That's exactly the issue we face with this film and producers-
we are just uncomfortable with the notion of people exploiting the GLBT genre as a dumping ground for trashy films. Anyone remember Female Games? A Singapore-directed so-called lesbian-themed film made a couple of years ago that was similarly panned by the lesbian community there - and rightfully so imho? Little wonder the heterosexual mainstream public in those countries sees us as nothing other (or better) than degenerates!

Still, some aspects of your view that's right on- a good start for Malaysian- and for that matter- Asian gay cinema. Though the HK film industry's already light years ahead of all of us - Asian AND Western- in this aspect ;-)
54. 2011-04-04 08:24  
Firstly...its a good start to GLBT genre movie made in malaysia. While the producer attempt to "educate" Malaysians public generally, regarding gay related issues, I feel its just a silly case of ignorance of her. Yes, she may have a friend who regretted having the cut but again, many more Malaysian gays these days are very educated.
Its just a movie anyway to some but to me it degenerates...
55. 2011-04-04 09:28  
To 'amazingly'... your contribution (#44) is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to explain your position in greater detail. It sheds a new light, a very interesting one. I still believe the producer should have just shut her mouth but that's not your point, I get it, and I agree with what you say. There are inumerable examples of painters, musicians, writers, film makers etc finding a way to go around (and beyond) the storyline imposed on them. The ex soviet union was notorious for that. In present day Iran too, many artists have a fascinating way to wiggle their way through a rigid and bigotted administration.
56. 2011-04-04 14:59  
Those who think ...Dalam Botol is about gay-turn-straight, you guys obviously haven't watch the movie yet.

Personally, I think the movie is kinda slow especially that Rubi/Bidin and Dina's part.

But overall I love the message of the movie - that is to be truthful to ourselves and our loved ones although someone might get hurt in the process. Not many people are able to be truthful to themselves but Rubi did just that. Amazing story.
57. 2011-04-04 17:45  
i haven't watched this movie and i think i won't because it's indeed biased from the issue even just by the movie poster, which potrait a man face with half man half transsexual (MTF).
this is very disgusting which mixed up between a man with gay as his sexual orientation and a man which has gender identity issue
i think this low class biased ignorance movie is not worth it to watch and probably should be blacklisted by all of our fellow gay brothers...
58. 2011-04-04 18:48  
It is disgusting to me to watch a movie that d producer herself has this hypocrisy homophobic comments, let alone saying it shamelessly in public media.

Yuck!!! Just like old saying, I rather dump my few $ to sea water.

Ya right not to b influenced by gay culture, my ass, I dun wan to b influenced by straight culture too, and I dun need straight culture to tell me wat to do too.
59. 2011-04-22 18:00  
The producer had sold the film's rights to a New York based films distributor for USD 10 millions. A good return for a local movie and the hoo- haa it has created here. The selling point is not the quality of the movie but the fact that the story is based in Malaysia and produced by a Malaysian and was able to be screened in HOMOPHOBIC MALAYSIA.
Comment edited on 2011-04-22 18:10:00

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