Gender And Religion In Malaysian Cinema: A Study On Yasmin Ahmad’s Films

Abstract

This paper examines the Malaysian films which are considered as portraying gender and religion differently within the multicultural context of Malaysia: film Gubra or Anxiety - produced in 2006, and Muallaf or The Convert - produced in 2008. Throughput their public viewing, both films received criticism from several conservative groups for not only being too liberal in the storytelling, but also ‘unnecessarily' contesting the status of Islam and the Malay-Muslims in Malaysia. For this study, both Gubra and Muallaf were selected as these films highlight important discussions about race, religion as well as a gender discourse. Using narrative analysis, this study found that the selected films negotiate gender representation between the modern and the traditional values. Using the female figures and embracing the teaching of Islam, it challenges the role and perception of gender within the patriarchal structure, such as domestic violence, the taboo of interracial affairs and strict religious dress code. This paper argues that the films articulate a particular contextual interpretation of religion and gender relations, by illuminating gendered or patriarchal oppression through the display positive and negative characteristics, and at times using religion to justify the actions.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

10.06.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.06.02.32

Online ISSN

2357-1330