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Local movie Mat Kilau creates history, rakes in RM47mil in 11 days
[Image: poster-mat-kilau-gsc-fb-280622.jpg]

KUALA LUMPUR: Local movie, “Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan” (“Mat Kilau: The Rise of a Warrior”) has raked in RM47 million within 11 days after opening in cinemas in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei.

In an Instagram post, director Syamsul Yusof said the film’s box-office revenue will surpass the previous record for a local movie set by “Munafik 2”, which he also directed in 2018.

“’Mat Kilau’ is now the fastest film to reach RM47 million, achieving it in just 11 days. It will overtake the total box office revenue of RM48 million for ‘Munafik 2’.

“I am at a loss for words. Alhamdulillah, thank you all,” said Syamsul, who was voted the best director at the 57th Asia Pacific Film Festival.

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Vijay47: Ahh! Films and the silver screen! In keeping with movie tradition, let me start with a prequel – just two days ago, by happy or unhappy coincidence, I saw “The Da Vinci Code” (Tom Hanks), which depicts 2,000-year-old plots within the Vatican, popes and bishops, mysterious tales of Mary Magdalene, and disputes regarding the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Fans may be glad to know that I did not run amok and burn down my house. I was too busy laughing. Cut to the present. First, thank you, independent historian, Ranjit Singh Malhi, for sharing with us the hidden history of life during long-ago years in Pahang and Selangor. 

With the detailed information you have stated, not many silat warriors would want to take you on and I am sure your blood will easily see you through should the usual reports be made against you for supposed disrespect to the sultans.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I note that Mat Kilau’s adventures were in the interests of race and religion. Religion? In the 1890s? I grew up in Kedah, served in Kelantan, and religion was never a visible element in either state despite the Malays going about their faith obligations fervently. And silently.

How art imitates life! ‘Mat Kilau The Movie’ must have travelled in the DeLorean since it is so reminiscent of present-day political reality - working towards the unity of race and religion, and with enough non-Malays to play the villain roles.

My only surprise is that the film does not mention Jho Low’s (Low Taek Jho) ancestors.

Koel: Thank you, Prof. It would be wise for filmmakers attempting history to also attempt an unvarnished knowledge of the event before foisting it on uncritical moviegoers.

I say this because one sees online comments stating that the movie is a faithful representation of facts. In a country with an abysmal reading record, such comments are not unusual - and artists such as filmmakers need such awareness.

And clearly, the qualifying statement at the start of the movie (that it is fictional) has not worked either. But even for fiction, there is a crass racial representation that will bring this movie and its producers disrepute among discerning audiences.

It’s time to wise up to politically correct discourse, folks. Of course, if you just want some ethnonationalist propaganda to provide an ‘us vs them’ division to prepare for upcoming elections, this movie might do that job. But what an insult to history and to movie-making!

What? The sultan sold land to foreigners?

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Mat Kilau film purely fictional, not for historical reference: historian
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Ranjit Singh Malhi is an independent historian who has written 19 books on Malaysian, Asian, and world history. – Pic courtesy of Ranjit Singh Malhi, July 12, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malay blockbuster film Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan (Mat Kilau: Rise of the Warrior) should only be promoted as a work of pure fiction and should not serve as a reference for the nation’s history, says Ranjit Singh Malhi.

The independent historian, who has written 19 books on Malaysian, Asian, and world history, said this is because the film is littered with factual and historical inaccuracies, which could mislead the public into believing that its scenes depict actual events that transpired in the past.

For example, one of the glaring factual mistakes in the movie is in the opening scene showing British officer H.C. Syers and Sikh military policemen mounting an attack on Pahang Malays at Kuala Tembeling while pursuing three “rebels” in 1890.

Ranjit pointed out that Syers had gone to Pahang only in 1891, and that no such brutal attack by Syers and his men ever took place.

Furthermore, he said, other scenes, especially those involving the silat martial arts style of fighting and the weapons used are incorrectly portrayed.

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When the joke’s on us – Terence Fernandez
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SO this past week our news feeds were cluttered with stories on the debate over Mat Kilau: Kebangkitan Pahlawan’s historical accuracy and the comedienne-not-comedienne who had done a pseudo striptease at a comedy club and has since been charged for insulting Islam.

Mat Kilau, which could be the first local movie to make RM100 million (exceeding RM75 million at the time of writing) at the box office, keeps pulling in the crowds with its narrative of Malay nationalism and supremacy.

It is the retelling of the Pahang uprising of 1890-1895 and a tribute to the Malay warrior Mat Kilau (incidentally played by Singaporean Adi Putra).

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