Memory films and the politics of revisiting: on Amir Muhammad’sfilms about the Communist Party of Malaya
ABSTRACT This article argues that Amir Muhammad’s two films about the Community Party of Malaya—The Last Communist and Village People Radio Show—can be understood as “memory films”: films that search for, create, question, and function as memories, especially when they are no longer in place, or nowhere to be found. Its reading of Muhammad’s films also engages with a discussion of the politics of revisiting as it pertains to the invocation of the Malayan consciousness and the national history and racial conditions of today’s Malaysia. Ultimately it asserts that such films about the communist past engage in a memory war to demand a rethinking of the present.
KEYWORDS: Memory, revisiting, Communist Party of Malaya, Chin Peng, Pak Kassim, Amir Muhammad
Chih-ming Wang is associate research fellow at the Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. He is the author of Transpacific Articulations: Student Migration and the Remaking of Asian America which was published by University of Hawai‘i Press in 2013.