Dancing Bells

  • 110'
  • Malaysia
  • 2007
Little Uma, an 11-year-old schoolgirl, has an apparently simple desire: she wants to take dancing lessons. She is an Indian girl and lives in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. There is nothing exceptional about that, because since the British colonial era, ten percent of the Malaysian population is of Indian descent. The way that group originally lived and was kept outside society was beautifully shown by the same film maker in his first film The Gravel Road. That film was set more than 40 years ago on a rubber plantation; this film is set today in the city and it is apparent that the Indian community still doesn’t play a full part in Malaysian society. Partly as a result of this, Uma’s ordinary desires are not easy to fulfil. She lives with her mother and her elder brother in the down-at-heel Brickfield. Her brother didn't finish school and is bitter about their living conditions. A career in crime beckons.
Just as in his first film, Menon draws a beautifully realistic and detailed portrait of a family that has to survive and above all has to maintain its dignity. The film was shot entirely on location in Brickfield and the cast is made up of local amateurs. This makes Dancing Bells not only authentic, but also emotional. These are real feelings of real people portrayed in a realistic way. (GjZ)

Director
Deepak Kumaran Menon
Premiere
World premiere
Country of production
Malaysia
Production Year
2007
Festival Edition
IFFR 2007
Length
110'
Medium
DV cam PAL
Original title
Chalanggai
Languages
Tamil, Malay, Mandarin, English
Producer
Vimala Perumal
Production Company
One Hundred Eye Sdn Bhd
Sales
One Hundred Eye Sdn Bhd
Screenplay
Deepak Kumaran Menon, Vimala Perumal
Cinematography
Albert Hue, Mohd Abdul Halim
Editor
Deepak Kumaran Menon
Production Design
Sooria Kumari
Sound Design
Soundworks Production
Music
Hardesh Singh
Cast
Dhaarshini Sankran, Ramesh Kumar