Malaysia’s interracial romance film ‘Sepet’ streaming on YouTube this week

The poster of ‘Sepet.’ Photo: Sharifah Amani / Instagram
The poster of ‘Sepet.’ Photo: Sharifah Amani / Instagram

Good news for local film buffs! The late Yasmin Ahmad’s film Sepet (Slit eyes) is streaming on YouTube this week. Fans of the film have until Friday to watch the romantic movie about the relationship between Malay girl Orked and Chinese boy Jason.

The video began streaming last Friday lead actress Sharifah Amani, who plays Orked, had said online: “If you haven’t seen it. If you miss Yasmin. This is your chance to watch Sepet. Click the link in my Bio. You have a week.”

The streaming is led by Great Little Stories, a parenting YouTube channel by Linus Chung, who played supporting character Keong in the film. 

The cast and crew including the lead actress herself as well as actor Ng Choo Seong, who plays Jason, will be online to answer any questions from viewers in the comments. Orked Ahmad, character namesake and sister to director Yasmin Ahmad, will also be tuning in. 

Answers to selected questions will be video recorded and compiled to document the process and thoughts behind the film. According to Great Little Stories, this video will be screened on YouTube and Yasmin at Kong Heng, a commemorative museum on the legacy of Yasmin Ahmad, who died in 2009, four years after Sepet was released. 

Main characters Orked and Jason go on a date. Screengrab from Great Little Stories / YouTube
Main characters Orked and Jason go on a date. Screengrab from Great Little Stories / YouTube

A quintessentially Malaysian film, Sepet won many international awards including Best Asian Film at the 18th Tokyo International Film Festival, Best Film at the 27th Créteil International Women’s Film Festival in France, and received multiple accolades at the 18th Malaysian film festival.

In a subsequent Instagram post, Sharifah also shared her thoughts on the timing of the streaming, which began as racially-charged protests spread in the U.S following the death of a man named George Floyd after a police officer kneeled on his neck. 

“The timing of this film going online couldn’t be better,” the award-winning actress wrote in a separate online post, adding that she hopes the film reminds Malaysians of the beauty of racial harmony. 

“Berbilang kaum, agama, bahasa. Ini lah keindahan Malaysia bagi saya (Multiple races, religion and languages. This is the beauty of Malaysia to me).”

Floyd died on May 25. The Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was fired four days later and is now facing murder and manslaughter charges. 

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