Thursday, August 21, 2008

This Tumbler Is Not Batman's

In looking through a certain academic article online today, something crossed my mind.

Whenever we talk about multiracial and multicultural local films, the usual suspects, such as Othman Hafsham's Mekanik, Teck Tan's Spinning Gasing and Yasmin Ahmad's Sepet, always get mentioned. Of course, P. Ramlee had made a movie with a multiracial cast long before anyone. But the point I'm trying to make is, there is one movie that's always forgotten, unsung, unmentioned, and obscured.

It's a film that I can't remember much about either. It's called Red Haired Tumbler Di Malaya (1994), and it featured a large Chinese cast, including Elaine Kang, and Shima and Ahmad Fauzee, plus some Caucasian actors. I only remember it being not very good, and there were acrobats in it. I searched high and low all over the Web looking for information on it. It's not even listed on IMDB. But Sinema Malaysia has it listed, and that really cements the website's reputation as the most definitive and comprehensive on Malaysian films.

Check out the Sinema Malaysia page on the film here. It's directed by Eddie Pak. The synopsis:

"Tom lives with his father, a priest in Malaya. His parents are killed in the Second World War and he is adopted by his Chinese grandmother. When she dies, he has to fend for himself. Chow from Taiwan has to leave behind his girlfriend, Lily to come to work in Malaya. After the war, lily leads an acrobatic troupe and tries to find Chow. Deen Mohd falls for her but she is not responsive to him. In a performance, Patrick creates havoc but Tom and Tat Meng manage to save the day. Patrick accuses Deen Mohd of embezzling his company’s money and brings the police to search his house. Lily finally meets Chow but is disappointed when discovers he is married to Manik."

Interracial romance! It might not be a very good film, but I think historically it might be important in some ways. Definitely worth a mention in any discussion about multiracial local films, methinks.

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