Through Our Own Eyes: Independent Documentary Filmmaking in Malaysia

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The proliferation of reality television, talk shows, travel and leisure, science and other educational programs, infotainment, news and fact-based television programs such as the tabloid series, Edisi Siasat (Investigative Edition), Akademi Fantasia,Malaysian Idol,Kembara RiaMalaysia, suggests that there is a potential viewership for non-fictional content and not only pure fictional entertainment in contemporary Malaysia. What distinguishes the documentary proper from factbased television programs? According to Bill Nichols, all films are documentaries as they tell us something about the culture we live in. However, there are two types of stories: of wish-fulfillment (fiction) and social representation (non-fiction). A documentary is also rhetorical and aims to give direction, not only pleasure, to its viewers. The appeal and power of a documentary is that it lends us the ability to see timely issues in need of attention (Nichols 2001: 2). In general, documentary filmmaking continues to be a fledgling field in Malaysia despite a history that goes as far back as the 1920s with Malayan Motor Roads (1920) and Memories of Malacca (1921).
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMedia, Culture and Society in Malaysia
    Editors Yeoh Seng Guan
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom, United States of America, Canada
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415552462
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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