I have always loved watching documentaries. All kinds of documentaries that is mostly shown on Discovery, National Geographic and History Channel. These documentaries range from animals, nature, and reenactment of the pasts. However, watching The Big Durian in class, well, it is a new kind of exposure for me. Very much avant garde-ish.
The film, The Big Durian is directed by Amir Muhammad, one of Malaysia’s well-renowned film director. Eventhough this film falls under the category of a documentary or docudrama, it is not entirely based on real life people, mostly to protect the identity of those who wish to keep their privacy life away from the public knowledge.
The movie is all about an incident that happened in the big city, Kuala Lumpur, almost 29 years ago, which is, on the 18th October 1987 when a soldier ran amok with a M16. The soldier was known as Prebet Adam or his real name, Adam Jaafar. There were many theories to why he ran amok and that includes a Johor royalty killed his brother and was not being brought to justice for his crime, thus, Prebet Adam decided to run away from his camp and cause chaos around the Chow Kit Road area.
Well, I did an ‘extensive’ research and found another theory which seems a little bit more plausible and that is, Prebet Adam was not at the right state of mind due to being bullied physically and mentally in his camp and like any normal people who has been tortured especially mentally, he could not take the pressure and went berserk. After he surrendered to his generals, Adam was brought for treatment at the infamous Hospital Bahagia in Tanjung Rambutan.
Anyway, back to the documentary by Amir Muhammad, I have been trying to appreciate more on the alternative genres whether it is in music or film but it has been quite difficult. I had a hard time trying to listen to one of the actors talking due to the excessive loud background music but that might be Amir’s rebellious sort of style. Overall, it is never a waste of time when you get to learn something new. I don’t think I would know about this incident if I was not introduced to this movie.