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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The first Iban Film .Bejalai (1987) vs Saloi The Movie(2010)

 The first Iban Film after a few years Iban has producing their Telemovies and eventually Iban Community has their very own film  and the pioneer film of Iban was  released on May in Cinema at Major City in Sarawak.This considered as a first step for Iban Film Industry .In Fact , it is not a 1st Iban Film  in Iban Language as reported but maybe the first Iban film produced by an Iban .
The first Iban film"Saloi The Movie"(2010)  produced by Allen Tinggie Trading Sdn Bhd, was launched by Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Joseph Salang Gandum at a popular cinema at Kuching.This film is an effort by government when they had recently announced RM 200 million to provide loans for the production of films and documentaries.During the launching ceremony Salang called for the production of more films depicting the lives and cultures of the Sarawak people.

 The First Iban film is actually Film BEJALAI 1987 in Iban Language was directed by foreign director from Singapore.
BEJALAI is a 1987  film directed by  Dr Stephen  Teo( currently a research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, and a senior associate of RMIT University )and Starring (Dick Isaac  as Rentap)Salome Kumpeing ,Chiling Nyanggai.This film is the first to be made in the Iban language in Sarawak, and it features good English subtitles and also the 1st Malaysian film to be selected for the Berlin Film Festival (in 1989) is an experimental feature about the custom among the native Iban community of Sarawak for young men to "bejalai" (go on a journey) before attaining maturity.
      The story concerns the conflict between the ancient and traditional life and the destruction of that life by deforestation and the flooding caused by massive hydroelectric projects. Most of the story is told through the eyes of Rentap, a young man who finds the only work available to him as part of the crew that is cutting down the forests of his home. As the land is transformed, natives are shown attempting to adjust: in one sad scene, a displaced girl wanders up the road towards the city.

  Here is a several films  were produced by the other film industry that displayed the Iban Community in Sarawak. 

Language:Malay & Iban 
"Love of a Forest Maiden" is 1958 film (Chinta Gadis Rimba) directed by L.Krishnan .It  is based on the novel (the first time Malay film has been adapting from a novel) Chinta Gadis Rimba  by  Harun Aminurrashid and the main cast  by S.Roomai Noor,Narang and  M.Amin. The film is about Bintang ,the Iban girl who goes against the wishes of her parents & runs off to her Malay Lover.Basically it a forbidden love story between a Malay boy and Iban girl.

The film also the first time a full length picture has been shot in Sarawak and the first time a  Iban girl has played the lead in film.

THE STRAITS TIMES ,3 SEPT 1956,PAGE 7 during the selection for the Iban girl for Gadis Rimba.
click here :
"Love of a Forest Maiden"(CHINTA GADIS RIMBA) 

The Straits Times, 3 September 1956, Page 7

Wanted: A jungle belle who knows about love

LOVE OF A FOREST MAIDEN (CHINTA GADIS RIMBA) 1958 -Malay Film Industry(Singapore )
(Language:Malay & Iban)
Farewell to the King is a 1989 film written and directed by John Milius. It  is based on the 1969 novel L'Adieu au Roi by Pierre Schoendoerffer. The film is marketed with the tagline "In the midst of war, one man vanished into the jungle, and emerged as king."

The plot taking place during World War II, American deserter Learoyd escapes a Japanese firing squad. Hiding himself in the wilds of Borneo, Learoyd is adopted by a head-hunting tribe of Dayaks, who consider him "divine" because of his blue eyes.

Language: English
The Sleeping Dictionary is a 2003 film directed by  Guy Jenkin .  It is set during the British colonial rule in the 1930s  The starring is Hugh Dancy as John Truscott  ,Jessica Alba  as Selima ,Eugene Salleh as Belansai 
Belansai & Selima
  Generally the story about  an Englishman, John Truscott (Hugh Dancy), goes to the British colony of Sarawak, Borneo to try and apply his father's work to the Iban society. He tries to civilize them, building schools and providing education for the Iban people.He met the Iban girl named Selima (Jessica Alba) becomes his "sleeping dictionary," who sleeps with him and teaches him the language and the habits of the locals.This film display  the concept of "ngayap" which was the Iban way of courtship practised in the past.

 In Fact, the film from Western Film producer is not reflecting the genuine cultural of Iban itself since it was mixed with the others dayak culture shown in a  film & it contents the historical inaccuracies.

Last but not least,now is the times Iban should produce their very own film that reflect their own lives and  culture .Because they know their own culture better .


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