Sharifah Amani: “Where Are The Stories Of Single, Independent Malay Women?”
Sepet, directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad, was one of the country’s most critically-acclaimed movies as it addressed social and racial issues that are not normally shown in Malaysian films.
More than a decade after it’s release, Malaysians still recall the movie with fondness. Who can forget the upbeat, passionate Orked who fell in love with charming DVD-seller Jason? When either Sepet or Orked come to one’s mind, so does the actress who portrayed her.
Malaysian actress Sharifah Amani has spent 15 years in Malaysia’s film industry ever since she first started out at the young age of 18. “I’m not old,” she said, laughing “It’s just that been here for a long time.”
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For 13 years people have asked us the very same question over and over again. What happened to Jason? Arwah Yasmin used to ask her audience what they thought happened to him. She said she could tell the kind of person you were by your answer. I know what I believe happened to him. What do you think? #Sepet #JasonAndOrked 💞
Her wisdom makes her rather selective with the movies and films that she works with.
“I’m very particular with what I do, and the work that I take because it is my responsibility,” the actress said, at Libresse’s Get Your Fit campaign launch. Her most defining role was as Orked in the late Yasmin Ahmad’s films Sepet, Gubra, and Mukhsin. Besides Orked, she played the older sister, Rohani in Muallaf (2008) which was denied screening in Malaysia upon release, but shown in cinemas two years later.
“The stories that I’ve gotten doesn’t make our young Malay women or all women, in general, look good,” the actress said. “Women have to worship men, always. Like, Abang I love you, don’t leave me.”
“The stories that I’ve gotten doesn’t make our young women look good.”
“The only thing Malay girls (in dramas) want to do is get married,” she added. “We know it’s a lie. We know that there are so many independent, hardworking, single Malay Muslim women out there doing their thang. So, where are our stories?”
“We know that there are so many independent, hardworking, single Malay Muslim women out there doing their thang. So, where are our stories?”
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Amy : So women have to be responsible for the irresponsibility of men? . Nina : For God’s sake, Amy. What is your problem? No one is asking you to cover your hair, not that you would anyway. It’s a question of Faith. Kan, a long time ago we agreed that we had different degrees of Faith? And anyway, I’m wearing it, not you. . #GoldRainAndHailstones2019 ✨
The actress states that she is unable to work with these types of dramas because they are not truthful. “We are not women who want to wait for somebody to come and help us,” she explained.
She added, “I can help myself. I have got my own money, my own home, and everything on my own. If I have to fall in love, it happens when I want to. That’s it.” And that’s the truth.
Sharifah Amani shares a story with us about a moment she couldn’t forget when shooting one of her movies. She didn’t say which, but in the scene, she was fixing a motorcycle. It was the first day of her period and she was dressed in the film’s wardrobe.
“Shooting is not your baju, so there’s more pressure to not stain it,” the veteran actress began, citing that she wore an overnight pad and was acting out a scene when the wardrobe artist took her aside. The wardrobe artist then whispered that her pad was sticking out, and helped her tuck it back it.
“It took a woman to tegur me because abang camera & segala abang didn’t get it,” she said. “These things do happen.”