WebTVAsia’s brand new film “Rise: Ini Kalilah” is made with good intention. It is a patriotic film inspired by the 14th Malaysian General Election, recounting the days of the election week told from the perspective of ordinary Malaysians.
However, even though the film has only been in the cinemas for less than a week, it already received backlashes from certain groups, claiming that the movie has a political agenda and urging the crowd to boycott it.
“It is very sad because the movie is meant to spread positive message and feelings, but some people are saying that the movie has a hidden agenda, it is a political propaganda, and whatnot. It is not true. It is a patriotic movie made to celebrate change,” producer Fred Chong told Hype Malaysia.
“The backlash started when we did a 2nd press conference with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, and some people are saying that the movie is a DAP (Democratic Action Party) film, and that people should boycott it,” Fred Chong continued.
“Even the politicians and activists who attended the gala premiere received backlashes as the movie coincidentally premiered the same day as the public caning incident. We invited the political figures to the premiere because we want them to be one of the firsts to watch the movie as they are some of the key people who contributed to the change.”
“Also, the premiere date was planned way before the public caning incident and the invitations were also sent to the politicians and activists way earlier. It is all a mere coincidence,” Chong explained.
“Perhaps it’s because we released the film at the wrong time. With all the issues on LGBT, SST, and public caning, the people are unhappy with the current government and directed their anger at this film.”
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Fred Chong believes that most of the people who gives bad comments are the people who haven’t watch the film, but decided to not give it a chance because of the negative word of mouth. Nevertheless, Chong is grateful by the kind words he received on social media by the people who have watched the film.
“There are also malicious comments saying that this film was funded by the current government in an attempt to brainwash citizens into supporting them. This accusation was actually heavily supported by many online community members. As an result, those who found the film inspiring and praiseworthy choose to keep quiet to avoid getting criticised.”
The producer said that he is aware of the negative reviews by movie critics who deemed that “Rise: Ini Kalilah” are not controversial enough, but he firmly noted he didn’t mind the negative reviews as the movie was made for ordinary people and not for critics.
“The movie intends to bring Malaysians back to the moments during GE14 and celebrate the change that we have achieved. It is about the rise of the people who come together in the face of adversity and succeeded in bringing change to their country,” Chong said.
“For those saying that the movie is not controversial enough or didn’t have enough drama, well I did make a movie like that 5 years ago, it is called “Banglasia” and it was banned for being too controversial. So I don’t want the same thing to happen with this movie. Plus, it is not intended to be that kind of movie.”
On that subject, Chong said that “Banglasia” will be resubmitted to LPF (Film Censorship Board of Malaysia) by end of this year because the censorship board has a rule that the same film cannot be submitted to LPF within 5 years.
“Banglasia will turn 5 by end of this year so we will submit the film to LPF for approval and hopefully Malaysians will get to see the movie by early next year,” Chong added.
“Rise: Ini Kalilah” is now showing in Malaysian cinemas and will be premiering in Singapore on 20th September.