This book discusses contemporary film in all the main countries of Southeast Asia, and the social practices and ideologies which films either represent or oppose. It shows how film acquires signification through cultural interpretation, and how film also serves as a site of contestations between social and political agents seeking to promote, challenge, or erase certain meanings, messages or ideas from public circulation. A unique feature of the book is that it focuses as much on films as it does on the societies from which these films emerge: it considers the reasons for film-makers taking the positions they take; the positions and counter-positions taken; the response of different communities; and the extent to which these interventions are connected to global flows of culture and capital.
The wide range of subjects covered include documentaries as political interventions in Singapore; political film-makers’ collectives in the Philippines, and films about prostitution in Cambodia and patriotism in Malaysia, and the Chinese in Indonesia. The book analyses films from Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, across a broad range of productions – such as mainstream and independent features across genres (for example comedy, patriotic, political, historical genres) alongside documentary, classic and diasporic films.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements Contributors 1. Introduction: Southeast Asian Film as a Site of Cultural Interpretation and Social Intervention - David C. L. Lim 2. From Contested Histories to Ethnic Tourism: Cinematic Representations of Shans and Shanland on the Burmese Silver Screen - Jane M. Ferguson 3. Toward a Laotian Independent Cinema? - Panivong Norindr 4. Screening the Crisis of Monetary Masculinity in Rithy Panh’s One Night After the War and Burnt Theater - Boreth Ly 5. When Memories Collide: Revisiting War in Vietnam and the Diaspora - Vo Hong Chuong-Dai 6. Malay(sian) Patriotic Films as Racial Crisis and Intervention - David C.L. Lim 7. ‘Our People’: Telemovies, Bangsa and Nationalism 3.0 in Sabah, Malaysia - Hiroyuki Yamamoto 8. The Hero in Passage: The Chinese and the Activist Youth in Riri Riza’s Gie - Abidin Kusno 9. Alternative Vision in Neoliberal Singapore: Memories, Places, and Voices in the Films of Tan Pin Pin - Kenneth Paul Tan 10. Documentary Filmmaking, Civil Activism, and the New Media in Singapore: The Case of Martyn See as Citizen Journalist - Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi 11. Cinema and State in Crisis: Political Film Collectives and People’s Struggle in the Philippines - Rolando B. Tolentino 12. Nostalgic Parodies and Migrant Ironies in Two Thai Comedy Films - Pattana Kitiarsa
David C. L. Lim is Senior Lecturer at the Open University Malaysia, where he manages and teaches courses in Literary and Cultural Studies.
Hiroyuki Yamamoto is Associate Professor at the Center for Integrated Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan.