Film Pushes Malaysian Censorship Boundaries, but Not Too Far
By Hollywood standards, the movie sounds rather tame: a love story with no kissing, no nudity and no sex.
Given that the two lovers are both men, however, “Dalam Botol,” or “In a Bottle,” hardly seemed likely to win over the censors in this Muslim-majority country.
“Dalam Botol” – which some have dubbed Malaysia’s “Brokeback Mountain” in reference to the Ang Lee film about a romantic relationship between two men in the American West – is one of the first Malay-language films to focus explicitly on homosexuality.
Amir Muhammad, an independent filmmaker who has had two films banned in Malaysia, said that in order to get films approved, many filmmakers practice self-censorship. He said his films “The Last Communist” and “Village People Radio Show” were turned down because the authorities considered them “Communist propaganda.”