a short film by Wardy Azman
2008 | 16 mins | Malaysia
›› Eros
Gay cinematic visibility, Malaysian style.
Eros by Wardy Azman Searching for a gay short with a difference, then look no further than this dreamlike work from Malaysia. And yes, you read the country right; one where acts of homosexual intimacy are subject to imprisonment, with even same-sex kissing on-screen, let alone nudity, banned outright. Only the print I saw had no English subtitles, so the exact nature of the narrative is somewhat unclear, even if it does appear to revolve around the story of the Garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit of homosexual love, in the form of Adam and Steve; Malaysian style.

Yet what is interesting here is not so much the story, that of a student project done theatrical style, but rather what this short film represents. Namely a step forward in Malaysian gay visibility. For whilst the federal government has only recently eased censorship restrictions, thereby paving the way for works of this nature, together with the first Malaysian gay-themed film Dalam Botol aka In A Bottle to be made, such is at a price. That of strict guidelines that allow for homosexuality on the big screen, just as long as it is shown to be - morally wrong. No surprise then that the ending of both the film, one in which a man undergoes gender reassignment surgery to the detriment of his relationship with his male partner and this short, fail to say it with pride. But small steps, indeed.

Gay Visibility - poetic, dreamlike fashion. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3 stars. 
starring: Muhaiai Shah, Hairul Anuar and Fiza Jamaludin.
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #282
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