Heartfelt Malaysian film 'Abang Adik' debuts on Netflix this June

The premiere is set for June 14 on Netflix.

WAN AHMAD  ATARMIZI
WAN AHMAD ATARMIZI
15 May 2024 05:29pm
Malaysian director Jin Ong's poignant drama, 'ABANG ADIK,' produced by Golden Horse award-winner Sinje Lee, is set for its Netflix premiere on June 14. Photo source: ABANG ADIK's official Facebook account.
Malaysian director Jin Ong's poignant drama, 'ABANG ADIK,' produced by Golden Horse award-winner Sinje Lee, is set for its Netflix premiere on June 14. Photo source: ABANG ADIK's official Facebook account.
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Malaysian director Jin Ong's poignant drama, 'Abang Adik,' produced by Golden Horse award-winner Sinje Lee, is set for its Netflix premiere on June 14.

The film, starring Wu Kang-ren and Malaysian actor Jack Tan, delves into the struggles of two stateless brothers surviving in the gritty streets of Pudu, Malaysia, resonating with themes of love and resilience amidst adversity.

Featuring Wu Kang-ren in a Golden Horse-winning performance as ‘Abang’, a deaf-mute orphan, and Jack Tan as his sworn brother ‘Adik’, explores the compelling journey of two stateless siblings navigating poverty in a community largely inhabited by migrant workers.

Director and writer Jin Ong, reflecting on the film's central theme, mentioned that it is about love.

“I think it is love! Love can overcome anything or destroy everything, but we can always rely on the tremendous power of love in the darkest times.

“Through ‘Abang Adik’, I hope to convey the complex emotions and moving stories from the land I grew up in,” he said.

Jin also expressed enthusiasm about the film's Netflix debut, noting his anticipation for more Malaysian productions to shine on the global stage.

Moreover, Sinje Lee, a first-time producer, commended Jin's vision and recalled that upon hearing Jin's story for ‘Abang Adik’ and being invited to produce, he immediately accepted due to the evident passion and sincerity behind the project.

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Golden Horse winner Wu Kang-ren, reflecting on his role, shared the challenges he faced in portraying ‘Abang’ authentically and said that he had a lot of doubts about his identity.

“The biggest challenge for me was to truly get into the plight and predicament of the local migrant workers, but fortunately, with the companionship of my co-star, Jack Tan, I was able to immerse myself into the role smoothly,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Jack Tan, who plays ‘Adik’, revealed his immersive preparation for the role, spending time in Pudu to grasp the essence of the district.

“I am really grateful to director and writer Jin for sharing his ideas with me when writing the story, so that we could prepare in advance and encourage each other, and also for Sinje, who is not only a producer, but our mentor,” he said.

‘Abang Adik’ promises to resonate with audiences worldwide through its compelling narrative and heartfelt performances, offering a glimpse into the resilience and love that bind individuals in the face of adversity.

The movie 'Abang Adik' arrives at a pivotal moment, coinciding with Malaysia's heightened tension and drama surrounding the government's proposed amendments to citizenship laws, which many view as regressive and potentially impactful on issues concerning foundlings and stateless individuals in the country.

Recently, the government announced the withdrawal of two out of five contentious proposed amendments to the citizenship law affecting foundlings.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail stated that this decision followed extensive engagement sessions with party whips, party leaders, agencies, legal experts, and other stakeholders.

The two proposed amendments to be withdrawn are Section 19B Part III of the Second Schedule and Section 1(e) Part II of the Second Schedule of the Federal Constitution. As a result, these two existing clauses will remain unchanged.

Section 19B pertains to the citizenship status of foundlings and abandoned children through legal operation, while Section 1(e) stipulates that individuals born in Malaysia without citizenship from any other country automatically gain Malaysian citizenship.

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