A thought-provoking and semi-autobiographical drama that juxtaposes a young man’s idealism with the reality of a changing Malaysia - through karaoke videos.
Showing with Promotional Video
Omer Krieger l Israel l 2008 l 8min
A choreographed piece from Public Movement, a highly politicized group of artists and activists who stage public gatherings and explore the possibilities that solidarity can achieve.
The film follows Betik, a young man who returns home to a rural Malaysian oil palm estate from the big city of Kuala Lumpur, only to find out that his village has moved on without him.
Feeling out of tune with the people that surround him, he takes on a day job shooting karaoke videos. At night, he tries to help his mother at the family’s karaoke bar downstairs – a karaoke where the local Indian estate workers, their families, and the Malay Muslim villagers next door gather and sing their troubles away. Each song resonates for someone in the village. Here, Betik meets a girl who seduces him with a possibility of a future that he has come back for.
In this semi-autobiographical drama audiences see a changing Malaysia through the eyes of a Malaysian-born writer-director, who only recently returned from Toronto, Canada, to shoot the film. These changes are juxtaposed with a stillness, that resonates throughout the film, and with the ideals of a young man and his karaoke videos.
Karaoke was the first Malaysian film to be invited to Cannes in 14 years and won the Maverick Award at Calgary Film Festival last year.
Chris Chong Chan Fui is a filmmaker and media artist born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. He focuses on unconventional stories and experiments with the fine line between cinema and visual arts. He lived and worked in Canada for many years. His short films Pool (2007) and Block B (2008) both won the Best Canadian Short Film at Toronto Film Festival in 2007 and 2008, and Karaoke is partly about his return to his home country of Malaysia.
2008 Block B (short)
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2007 Pool (short)
2006 Tuesday Be My Friend (short)
2000 Minus (short)