The Malaysian communist party engaged in a decades-long armed struggle in the jungle to gain independence. Babies born during the war were sent to the jungle to survive. Boluomi is the father of one of those babies – Yifan, who is also the protagonist of this film. The Taiwanese-Malaysian father and son resent each other, with their secrets and pains of the past buried deep in their hearts. Yifan leaves for Taiwan, and in Kaohsiung he meets Laila, an illegal immigrant from the Philippines. Treated like a stranger even in the country of his ancestors, Yifan sympathizes with Laila and grows closer to her. It is heartbreaking to watch the glum history of Malaysia and the two young people caring for each other in a strange land despite their language barrier.
About Lau Kek-Huat
Born in Malaysia, Lau Kek-Huat came to Taiwan to study film and became a filmmaker based in Taiwan. His creative interests start from his family background. His works attempt to gradually uncover historical and national issues that Malaysian Chinese cannot bring up locally. The documentary Absent Without Leave explores why his grandfather is absent from family conversations and talks about the taboo history of the Communist Party of Malaysia. At the same time, his debut feature film Boluomi is based on his grandfather’s story. The Tree Remembers describes the Malaysian government’s racial policies and the current racial divides. Both his documentaries Absent Without Leave and The Tree Remembers still face censorship challenges today in Malaysia, while censors have also targeted the feature film Boluomi.
Dates & Times
Small theatre with fixed seating
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto ON M5J 2G8