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LOST
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279, 654 Malaysian identity cards were reported missing in the year 2001. This is the story of just one.
 
 
Award:
Critics Prize, Best Asian Digital Film, 2002 Singapore International Film Festival
 
Other Festivals:
2003 Eksperimento Film Festival (The Philippines)
2003 CINEFAN Film Festival (India)
 
 
Reviews:
 
"An internet-specific portrait of the humorous, Kafkaesque interactions of ndividual identity and bureaucratic indifference." - Netpac/FIPRESCI Jury citation, 2002 Singapore International Film Festival "Charming ... It is in its unpretentious forthrightness that LOST sparkles and illuminates, educates and entertains, whilst serving as an eloquent reflection and criticism of the times we live in." - Yaanie, The Malay Mail (Jan 17 2002) "Writer/Director Amir Muhammad's documentary takes a wry and satirical look at one missing ID card in modern day Malaysia" - Brian Walters, British Film Institute
 
Duration: 9.5 min
Language: English
Shooting format: DV (Colour)
 
 
Production Notes:
 
This is the short that got the ball rolling. I had a lot of fun shooting it, spending one day going back to the places I had been to, and capturing with a borrowed camera whatever caught my fancy.
The decision to reduce many of the shots to stills rather than moving images came from my friend James Lee, and I think he was right. The IC is after all a document that is also a still, so why not make use of similarly frozen images?
One moment in the text says "Sound of fireworks." I actually asked around if anyone had any footage of fireworks so that I could incorporate it. But in the end it seemed natural to just use a silent image of balloons - I liked the irony of the silence, and also the similar celebratory function that balloons and fireworks play. This decision to go with visual and emotional association, which includes ironic inversion, was very liberating and also useful for the other  shorts.
The PM's face is from an oil painting that hangs (or used to hang) in the artists' corner of Central Market. There were several options but I chose an image that is very up-close and in-your-face, as if he were pressed up right against you, which seems like an appropriate visual representation of how his prescriptions for nation-building over the decades, some for our own good but others quite deleterious,  have hit so close to home that we have not even begun to properly evaluate them. It may take another generation.
The IC is not only a document that gives information but an instrument of control, a fact which does not strike most of us most of the time. It's such a part of who we are that we take it for granted that we can be reduced to a few lines in clear laminated plastic. Civil liberties only seem urgent when we lose them, or have them stolen from us.
 
 
Writer/Director/Camera/Producer: Amir Muhammad
Editor: James Lee
Extract from poem "IC" by Kubhaer T. Jethwani
Special Thanks: Sharaad Kuttan