Sunday, July 26, 2009

We Will Miss You, Kak Min

"she's dead!! "
message I got
from KH at 0149 hours

This is the one news that I'd wish I didn't live to hear.
I was getting myself ready to go to bed late last night, and I received that message from Kok Hong on my mobile phone. The moment I got that message, I knew it was referring to our one and only Yasmin Ahmad. It took me a few seconds to make myself digest the fact that she is gone. Yasmin Ahmad has left us just before midnight yesterday. I didn't shed any tears or what; I guess I was just too gobsmacked when I got the news of her passing.
I first got the news of her last Thursday evening, when people were spreading rumours at Facebook and forums that she had passed away. It was later found out that it was merely some mis-communication; she suffered stroke and brain haemorrhage and didn't pass away as what was reported earlier.
I saw a glimpse of hope when the doctors said that she successfully underwent a brain surgery on the same night; but it took a turn of fortune two days later when it was reported that her condition had deteriorated. Praying and hoping that she will hang on and her condition will improve for the last several days, only to get such a tragic news is indeed a hard one to take.
"Funeral" is a new TV commercial which looks at relationships in a different light, through a woman at her husband's funeral.

Malaysia today has lost a true Malaysian; a genius who has captured our hearts as well as our soul with her simple, yet meaningful works. Yasmin is a brilliant talent who believes love and forgiveness are among the most important essence of live.
"I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying, especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool. Everyday, I thank Allah for everyday things like the ability to breathe, the ability to love, the ability to laugh, and the ability to eat and drink." - taken from Yasmin's blog.
Quoting from what actress Fatimah Abu Bakar, a close friend of Yasmin said about her, "We would come cross a few great people in our time on earth. Yasmin was one of them."
I couldn't disagree anymore.

"Tan Hong Ming In Love" - Race doesn't matter when we are young, so why does it matter when we are older?
To me, the passing of Yasmin is much bigger than the King of Pop recently. That is perhaps I have lived and grown up watching the wonderful works done by Yasmin all these years. Malaysians enjoy her films and advertisements which never fail to make us touched, or even to the extend of shedding our tears, mainly because they are something we can relate to ourselves. Her diversity touch in her advertisements each year never made us think that we are Indian, Malay or Chinese; instead she made it look like we are one whole big family in a harmony community, regardless of our skin colour, background, class or beliefs.
However, her daring approach in her works often pisses most conservative filmmakers off, as well as religious authorities and also the censorship board members. Never mind Yasmin, let them critise you as much as they want, because you know we Malaysians appreciate your efforts. Perhaps they just don't know how to appreciate true talents like what outsiders are heaping praise on your works.
I first come to know about Yasmin six years ago through her first film - Rabun. Back then, I didn't know who Yasmin was, neither did I know who was the director behind the film. What I knew was that it's a film one of its own, and this is something you would find very rare among the Malaysian films in the local entertainment industry. Somehow, it just had that extra something in that film, about an elderly couple who moved out of the city to a village, but this exuberant and affectionate pair find that life in the countryside isn't all that pleasant after all.

Along the line, Yasmin put in some humourous and the reality of life in the film. It is the same thing in all of her other works, where we would laugh and cry at the same time, a quality that has been missing from Malaysian movies all these years.

The movie that people started to notice who Yasmin Ahmas is - "Sepet" (2004)
From then on, I have only managed to see her next film - Sepet. The more I watched it, the more I found myself falling in love with her articulate touches. Too bad that her next four films were released when I was no longer in Malaysia, and I missed seeing all of them.
The advertisements she directed are no less exuberant than her films. Who wouldn't know her powerful Petronas advertisements come every festive seasons. The messages and ideas conveyed through these advertisements reflect the true spirit of Malaysia which we all shall carry and cherish to eternity.
I first mentioned her in my blog early this year through her advertisements for the Chinese New Year this year. Never in my wildest imagination that she would leave us exactly six months after that entry. It was also from watching her works that inspired me to produce a video in conjunction of the National Day celebration last year.

Her last work - "Talentime" (2009)
Another comments I saw at 15Malaysia page at Facebook reads, "Bright stars never leave. They die, yes, but remnants of greatness trail behind them, scarring the dark universe with light."
Yasmin has shown us the ways make life a better place through her works, and I believe we shall let that inspire us to do the same to our life and nation. Yasmin's works will never be forgotten and I doubt we would have somebody having such vision and persistence in proving her ideology like her ever again.
My deepest condolences to Mak Inom and Pak Atan, her husband, relatives, and friends. May the peace rest with you, Yasmin and you will live in everyone of us.


Kae Vin said...

my condolences. No more touching petronas ad >_<

kh said...

ya... too soon.. sigh

anyway.. i thought i added a crying emoticon?

akatsukiotoko said...

when i read the news, I was too shocked and wish it was a mistake made by the media.

We just lost a true Malaysian and I hope that her works will live through every Malaysian hearts.

Great post, Calvin.

naqiubex said...

I never even knew that kind of advertisement existed. So Yasmin Ahmad is the one who always does this fantastic movies, advertisement and shortstories.
I think I just felt that we have lost an amazing producer..

Endoru said...

I was so sad.
Simply such a big lost for Malaysia.
She's definitely shown us the right spirit of how an identity that we all Malaysian should own.
She'll be remembered for how she touched our hearts.

ns29 said...

those nice petronas ads that remind me new year is near every year
those movies that show the real malaysia

Ken said...

Very sad to hear that. Deespest condolences to her family.

I like her 'Tan Hong Ming In Love' ad very much. Meaningful, naive, and funny...

May her soul rests in peace.

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
life is uncertain, but death is certain.
we will never know when would be our time, but yasmin's left us way too much earlier when she still has so much to share with us.

lets pray that she is in good hands now.

calvin said...

like they always say, good people will always leave early. perhaps god wants to give them better seats on the journey. so, there remains the not-so-good ones to live longer and commit more sins so that they will get more punishments on a later date.

p/s: i've added the emoticon up there

calvin said...

@ akatsukiotoko:
the night i heard that she was admitted to the hospital, i prayed that she would be fine. most of the time my prayers are answered, but unfortunately, not this time T_T

although it would be almost a week since kak min left us, i still find it hard to accept the fact that she is no more. never felt like this since... well, i think i've never felt like this before.

don't let her effort all this while go to waste. she might not be with us physically anymore, but we can always carry her thoughts and message down the generations through our actions.

if she sees this from up there, i'm sure kak min will be smiling =)

calvin said...

@ naqiubex:
it does; and it was produced for the singapore government. no matter how many times i watch the advertisement, i never fail to feel touched by the message.

we have lost another malaysian who lived her live like a true malaysian.

calvin said...

@ endoru:
i won't be shy to say this, but tears flow down my cheeks when i watch her last interview with the star. i was so impress by what she'd to say regarding the racial harmony and 1malaysian concept from her perspective. only if every individual who call themselves a malaysian shares the same thought like her.

i almost couldn't believe that a person of such a great stature would leave us so soon. i am so gonna try to collect all of her works to show it to my kids one day.

like what kak min once said, whatever kids learn comes from their parents most of the time. hopefully, the future generation will see their friends as one race - malaysian.

calvin said...

@ ns29:
that is one of her great work that we will definitely miss from now onwards.

we hope that there would be more such talented storyteller and filmmaker born in the future but one thing for sure is that there wouldn't be a replacement for kak min.

calvin said...

@ ken:
when i read pete teo's farewell letter to kak min, i couldn't help but to shed my tears. it was written so beautifully and i really feel for mak inom.

we shall all pray for her goodwill up there :)