Gadoh, a 70-minute feature film that explores our perception of identity and challenges our hatred of the “other”. It is produced by KOMAS, a Malaysian human rights organisation and directed by Brenda Danker and Namron.
Gadoh tells a story of a group of teenagers who fought each other along racial lines; a cycle of hatred and violence further escalated by their environment and school system.
What was to be a quick resolution to improve the school’s bad image, was taken as an opportunity for one teacher who believed that real change was possible. She ropes in the help of an old friend and reluctant maverick theater activist for this arduous task.
Is there hope amidst the cycle of discrimination that surrounds us?
Watch Gadoh for their story, and what it may very well tell us about ourselves.
PRESS RELEASE: Launch of “GADOH”
Kuala Lumpur: Gadoh is a 70-minute feature film that explores our perception of identity and challenges our hatred of the “other”. It is produced by KOMAS, a Malaysian human rights organisation and directed by Brenda Danker and Namron
The film will be premiering at the HELP University College Teaterrette on 22 May 2009. There will be a public screening especially for students at 5pm, followed by the official launch and screening at 8pm.
Recalling her university days, director Brenda Danker felt that there were never any real avenues within the social and education system to openly discuss and address our differences as Malaysians of different cultural and religious origins. More often than not this is regarded as taboo. She said that this is precisely why Gadoh was produced.
Writer, co-director and lead actor of Gadoh, Namron, shared that he had studied in a school where there were an equal proportion of students from different racial origins and that fights would often break out for the simplest of reasons.
“Accidentally bumping shoulders would be enough to ignite a fight,” Namron recalled. “In most cases, these racist sentiments start at home where young people are exposed to discriminatory attitudes towards other races. These children are planted with reasons to despise each other and this hatred is reflected by unnecessary fighting in their schools,” he added.
“Going beyond the apparent is what this movie provokes us to do,” Jerald Joseph, one of the Board of Directors of KOMAS commented. He believed that Malaysian society lacked understanding of the root causes of these conflicts.
“What boxes us up as ethnic-based groupings? Is it because of the entrenched National policies? Unfounded fears of prejudice? Or having a shallow interpretation of history?” Jerald hopes today’s youth will grapple with such questions and to search for the answers.
Gadoh is an addition to KOMAS’s “Bangsa Malaysia Series”, a collection of short videos used as resource tools for education and discussion on various topics of racism in Malaysia. Aside from the film, KOMAS will also be launching a nationwide campaign together with t-shirts, stickers, posters, and buttons with the message “Aku Bangsa Malaysia” as its tagline.
“The time is ripe to move beyond ‘Gadoh’ among different races and to reaffirm faith in humanity as equal Malaysians,” he said.
“AKU BANGSA MALAYSIA”