"Tanda Putera" has already been on a lot of Malaysians' lips lately because of its controversial historical topic, and whether or not people like it, it will be one of the films that people will make sure they watch, just so they could have their say in it.
We also compiled some other most talked about political films that are well known, because they helped more and more people open up about the subject.
What's the subject?: The second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak and his second-in-command, Tun Dr Ismail put their personal issues aside to concentrate on restoring the country after the tragedy of 13 May 1969.
What's the controversy?: Opposition lawmakers accuse that the film portrayed the Chinese and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) in a negative light. Director Shuhaimi Baba even defended the film saying that it is all based on true historical facts and that it is not propaganda.
" "Tanda Putera" is not a racist film. One that will shock? Maybe. Yes, it shows Malays beating up Chinese and Chinese beating up Malays and the role of dissidents, members of the Malayan Communist Party, stoking up the fire. But "Tanda Putera" also shows how a Chinese family helps protect their Malay friends and Malay youths protecting their non-Malay friends from rioters," says Baba in defense.
What's the subject?: Documentary director and producer Michael Moore takes a look at the War on Terror, George Bush and how the media portrays the news especially after September 11.
What's the controversy?: The documentary film was released before the United States presidential election, in 2004 and Michael Moore, while not endorsing presidential candidate John Kerry, stated in interviews that he hoped "to see Mr. Bush removed from the White House". Despite the film's influence and commercial success, George W. Bush was re-elected in 2004. After several complaints and accusations that the film was based on lies, Moore published a list of facts and sources for "Fahrenheit 9/11" and a document that he says establishes agreements between the points made in his film and the findings of the 9/11 Commission.
"Triumph of the Will"
What's the subject?: The 1935 propaganda film was commissioned by the Nazi Fuhrer leader, Adolf Hitler, about the 1934 Nazi party rally.
What's the controversy?: You can already see why this made it to the list of controversial political films as the subject matter and the film it lived in isn't exactly what you would call light-hearted. This film showed glorified accounts of the unjust Nazi regime. The film still is considered to be the most powerful propaganda film ever made. After the war, the film's director, Leni Riefenstahl, was imprisoned for four years.
What's the subject?: The events leading to the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy and the alleged subsequent cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison.
What's the controversy?: Many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing the director and writer of the film, Oliver Stone, of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that Kennedy's assassination was part of an overthrow. But the film earned over US$205 million in worldwide gross and "JFK" was nominated for eight Academy Awards.
"The Birth of a Nation"
What's the subject?: The story revolves around two white families separated by the Civil War and reunited.
What's the controversy?: Originally called "The Clansman" in 1915, the film has become highly controversial for its outlandish racial prejudices and vicious portrayal of blacks as conniving and sexually animalistic. "The Birth of a Nation" also proudly shows its pro-Klan stance, and endorsement of enslavement. It again stirred controversy in 1993, when it was voted as one of the top 100 American films.
"The New Village"
What's the subject?: A deadly clash between the British military administration and the Malayan Communist Party plunges Malaysia into a state of emergency.
What's the controversy?: After Malaysian censorship boards delayed the release of local film "The New Village", controversial rapper and filmmaker Namewee shared his frustration via a YouTube video entitled "017 Double Standard". He explains that it was unreasonable for the film "The New Village" to be banned just because it explains the history of communism in the country. He also said that if the controversial nature of history is an issue, then they should also consider banning "Tanda Putera". Malay rights group Perkasa has demanded that Namewee's citizenship be revoked over his criticisms.
"5 Broken Cameras"
What's the subject?: A documentary on a Palestinian farmer's chronicle as the Israelis begin bulldozing olive groves to build a barrier to separate the farmer's village of Bil'in from the Jewish Settlement Modi'in Illit. The documentary was shot almost entirely by the farmer himself Emad Burnat and Israeli co-director Guy Davidi joined on to create the film.
What's the controversy?: The film had been nominated for an Oscar in the best feature-length documentary category just this year, but there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether the film was Pro-Israeli or Pro-Palestine. The Israeli Embassy referred to the film as an Israeli film but Burnat clarified saying "(It is a) Palestinian film. My story, my village's story, my people's story, I was working on the film for seven years." There are also some who believe that the film was too much of a Palestinian film like J.J. Surbeck saying that the film was a "manipulative Palestinian movie".
Cinema Online, 20 August 2013