"It's A Story About Unity" — Crowdfunded Film 'Pendatang' Draws Rave Reviews From M'sians

The film received over 20,000 views within the first two hours of its release on YouTube.

Cover image via Kuman Pictures (Facebook) & Pendatang Movie (Facebook)

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Malaysia's first crowdfunded, locally-produced film, Pendatang, has been receiving rave reviews since its premiere on YouTube last night, 21 December

The one-hour-and-38-minute film was released on YouTube without advertisements at 9pm on Thursday.

The film follows a Cantonese-speaking family forced to relocate to a kampung house due to a Segregation Act that divides Malaysians of different races into designated areas.

Discontent with the strict surveillance imposed by the Chinese-run militia, the family faces more challenges when they discover a Malay girl hiding in the attic.

In this fictional version of Malaysia, torn apart by a tragedy known as the '927 Incident' and the secession of Sarawak and Sabah from the federation, harbouring individuals of a different race is punishable by law.

The dystopian film was directed by Ng Ken Kin and written by Lim Boon Siang, who won a scriptwriting competition by Kuman Pictures in 2019.

The movie studio released Pendatang on YouTube to circumvent censorship and uphold their non-profit pledge as stated on their Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign page.

Within the first two hours of its premiere, the film amassed over 20,000 views. As of writing, it has accumulated a total of 92,000 views on YouTube.

It received rave reviews from Malaysian netizens.

"It's a story about unity! Absolutely love this movie. I hope the censorship board will not take this movie down from YouTube!" wrote a netizen, while another added, "Great to see a Malaysian movie where the producers and the audience don't have to bow down to the censors!"

"Racism never wins. Humanity will prevail in most dire circumstances. Bravo to the production team and brilliant acting by everyone! Best movie I have watched in 2023," read a top comment.

"We need more movies like this to show to the people in Malaysia just how fragile and vital it is for us all to live in harmony with one another. We must not allow politics and extremism, be it using religion, race, social class, or economy to break us apart and create the animosity that seems to grow and fester each passing day," a YouTube user said.

All in all, the hundreds of comments were overwhelmingly positive, celebrating the precious Malaysian unity that forms the foundation of the nation.

Image via YouTube

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