DIVINE – Malaysian Short Films

  • June 16, 2024 | 2:00 PM - 3:20 PM | Sunday
  • Oldham Theatre


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Dayang Bersiong – The Sinful Cook
Singapore Premiere
Original/Alternative Title: 狼牙的御女
Year: 2022
Director: Chong Keat Aun
Runtime: 27 min
Country: Malaysia
Language: Hokkien with English subtitles
Rating: PG


In 1986, a Siamese woman loses her husband. While mourning his death, she becomes possessed by the cook of Raja Bersiong, the King of the Kedah Kingdom. Chong’s narrative intertwines the myth of the infamous Raja Bersiong, the historical May 13, 1969 racial riot, and the film Raja Bersiong written by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaya. This short film is a precursor to Chong’s second feature, Snow in Midsummer that delves into the May 13 incident.


It’s Easier to Raise Cattle
Original/Alternative Title: Lagi Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu
Year: 2017
Director: Amanda Nell Eu
Runtime: 18 min
Country: Malaysia
Language: Malay with English subtitles
Rating: PG13


Set in the countryside, the film is a bildungsroman illustrating the development of two girls during puberty, transforming them into the Malay folklore vampiric pontianaks. The metamorphosis of the characters creates a sense of female self-empowerment that is at once beautifully dangerous yet seductive.

Director’s statement

“The pontianak comes from a place of abuse, dying when she carries life inside her, and she finds strength out of it. She is raw, primal, carnal and sexual, and she is beautiful and has luscious, long black hair. She will seduce you, draw you in and you will feel her wrath. The two teenage girls in my film are both pontianaks in their own ways. Every woman is a pontianak in her own way.”


Ms. Pontianak
Singapore Premiere
Year: 2022
Director: Alina Wong
Runtime: 22 min
Country: Malaysia
Language: Malay, English with English subtitles
Rating: PG


Salma is a beloved actress known for her role as a pontianak, a ghost that comes into being when a pregnant woman dies during childbirth. The film follows Salma’s daily life as an actress who leaves the set of one Pontianak film to audition for another. Presented in the style of a pseudo-documentary and vlog, the film explores the triviality of her career as a Pontianak actress. Ms. Pontianak pays homage to the iconic horror character from the 1950s golden era of Malay cinema, while simultaneously demystifying the mythological character in Malay folklore.


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