Yes, we've put together two of Malaysia's favourite things in the world - makan and tengok wayang (eat and watch movies). We'd like to think this combination isn't like the Mayweather vs McGregor fight, but more like two minions going on a roadtrip together. They complement each other like jemput-jemput and sambal.
In conjunction with Malaysia Day, here are our top Malaysian film picks to get you into the celebration mood this weekend, whilst fulfilling your stomach with some Malaysian nosh on the side:
1. Jagat + Banana Leaf Rice
Like the glorious banana leaf rice, watching Jagat is like digging into a vast facade of culture, history and drama - all in one handful. With dhal, of course. This award-winning film, set within the Indian community of Malaysia hits close to the heart as we follow the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Appoy and his relationships with people around him. Directed by FFM 2016's Best New Director, Shanjhey Kumar Perumal, Jagat not only won Best Malaysian Film award in the 28th Malaysia Film Festival in 2016 but also won the hearts of many Malaysians but also won the
2. Ola Bola + Nasi Lemak
If there is one Malaysian dish that every Malaysian would fight for, it's definitely Nasi Lemak. The fragrant steamed rice, sambal ikan bilis, rendang ayam and a boiled egg, there is no doubt that it's a favourite for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And like nasi lemak, Ola Bola is THE film that binds us all together for the love of our country and our nation's favourite sport - football.
A quest for gold and glory, Ola Bola follows an unlikely team of footballers who comes together when all the odds are seemingly against them and shows us that unity always pushes us all one step ahead. Directed by Chiu Keng Guan, Ola Bola is inspired by the glorious journey of the Malaysian national football team to successfully qualify for the 1980 Summer Olympics.
3. You Mean The World To Me + Penang Laksa
Directed by Saw Teong Hin, You Mean the World to Me is arguably one of the most notable Malaysian films you need to watch before you die, as it has so much heart and soul put into it. Inspired by his estranged relationship with his mother, this film is shot entirely in Northern Hokkien - a dialect most spoken amongst Penangites, as Saw wanted to preserve the mother tongue and to effectively deliver the little nuances of the dialect.
"The attention to detail on the locations, the props and the costume should sent Penangites of that generation to a familiar place and they would finally have a piece of film that they could always go back to see how the good old days were like." (The Malay Mail Online, 2016)
So, of course now you see why we paired this film with Penang Laksa ;)
4. The Journey + Laksa Johor
For those who aren't familiar with Laksa Johor, it's basically spaghetti noodles served in a tangy fish-based coconut gravy. this dish incorporates two cultures to create the perfect blend of Western and Eastern cuisine. Why The Journey? The Journey is basically that awkward moment when you bring your Caucasian fiance home to meet your conservative Chinese father and to your surprise, a cross-cultural roadtrip (and a little bit of open-mindedness!) brought them together to accept and respect their cultural differences.
Did you know? After ending a four week run in Malaysian cinema, The Journey became the highest grossing local production ever in Malaysia's box office history, having amassed a gross of RM12.92 million. Slurp and savour away!
5. Talentime + Kuih
Directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad, Malaysia's favourite filmmaker - Talentime tells a classic tale of "joy and pain, hope and despair, a host of beautifully-written songs, and rich, rich characters" as Yasmin describes it in her blog. The film was released on 26 March 2009 in Malaysia and marks Yasmin's last feature film prior to her death on 25 July 2009. We picked kuih as they come in various shapes, sizes, flavours and colours - perfect for any Yasmin Ahmad film!
5. Surviving Borneo + Tuak
Yes, yes. We know this isn't exactly a film, but we think it's a must-catch this weekend (with a shot of Tuak maybe, to bring you right into Borneo)! Malaysian TV host and leading star of the much-anticipated upcoming movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, Henry Golding goes back to his Iban roots and explores what it takes to survive Borneo in a 6-part series called 'Surviving Borneo'. The journey brings him back to his Iban hometown in Betong, the mountainous region of Bario, and home to the Kelabit tribe. Catch this hunky host every Sunday at 9pm on the Discovery Channel as he comes home to Borneo.
Let us know what film you'll be watching, this Malaysia Day weekend?