The Story of Southern Islet

  • 105'
  • Malaysia
  • 2020

Yan, her husband Cheong and their two young sons live in a village in northern Malaysia, close to the Thai border. Cheong accidentally damages the neighbour’s fence trying to catch a snake, which triggers a series of mysterious events. Cheong believes he has upset the Malay god Datuk Gong, but Yan, who wasn’t raised on this popular belief, has her doubts. She’d rather take Cheong – who has become ill in the meantime – to hospital than to the shamanic healer.

The Story of Southern Islet is set in 1987 and is based on the filmmaker’s childhood, during which his father became severely ill. The atmospheric story, shot largely using beautiful long shots, completely accepts the fact that not everything can be explained rationally. A voice in a cave, a ghost on a ship – Yan’s spiritual journey is just as natural as her daily shop at the market.

Director
Chong Keat Aun
Premiere
European premiere
Country of production
Malaysia
Year
2020
Festival Edition
IFFR 2021
Length
105'
Medium
DCP
Original title
Nan wu
Languages
Hokkien, Chinese, Malay
Producers
Lim Hui Bee, Lee Chee Cheng
Production Company
Asteri Production Sdn Bhd
Sales
Asteri Production Sdn Bhd
Screenplay
Chong Keat Aun
Cinematography
Chan Hai Liang
Editor
Kong Jing Rong, Tan Wei Jian
Music
Yii Kah Hoe
Cast
Jojo Goh, Season Chee, Pearlly Chua, Tang Ling, Hoon Mei Sim