When there’s a will, there’s a way.

Seeing as how the award-winning film “Absent Without Leave (不即不离)” has been banned in Malaysia because of its communist overtones, the producers have decided to release it online for free – exclusively for Malaysian audiences.

Absent Without Leave 不即不离
Source: Facebook

Directed by Sitiawan-born Lau Kek Huat, “Absent Without Leave” is an intense heartfelt story that follows the filmmaker as he navigates the murky waters of his grandfather’s experiences during the Communist insurgency.


The controversial documentary, which took 5 years to complete and cost over RM80,000, has been shown in various film festivals across the world including South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. The movie took home the Singapore International Film Festival’s Audience Award last December.

Absent Without Leave 不即不离
Source: SGIFF

35 years ago, I was born and then grew up in this old wooden house. Here is not only where the memories of 3 generations of my family are preserved, this is only the last memory I have of my grandma. Only when I became an adult I finally understood that the portrait hanging on the wall of her living room was the grandfather I had never met. After 60 years, this had become a taboo in my family, nobody would mention this man, his name, or his past. This documentary is a way for us to reconnect to him and to deal with the love and the grudge that we all silently felt towards him,” said Lau in a statement.

Although “Absent Without Leave” failed to secure the green light from local authorities to screen it in cinemas, there has been an outpouring of support from the local community. “We have received many requests regarding donations for this film. We have considered this but have decided to keep this event completely free as a gift to Malaysian audiences. Shall you wish to support this film in particular, we will share with you other ways you can support us at the end of this event,” said HummingBird Production.

Watch the trailer here:

For those who are interested to watch the full movie, the link will be provided to those who click on the “going” button via HummingBird Production’s Facebook event here.

Do note that “Absent Without Leave” is available for a limited time only, between 28th February to 3rd March.

Sources: MMO, HummingBird Production’s Facebook.

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