I’ve never considered myself a pro at making ole sappy sandiwara dramas, especially for Hari Raya. I have always wondered why most Hari Raya dramas telecast during the joyous season need to be all sad and filled with tears.
But hey there’s always a first time for everything.
The moment arrived when I was tasked to direct a telemovie for Eidul Fitri this year. Never one to turn down challenges, I grabbed the opportunity to do this special drama.
But perhaps before you jump to conclusions, this drama is indeed special.
If Christmas has It’s A Wonderful Life, a very special film about redemption, Eidul Fitri 2013 has a special treat.
The drama I was called to direct is called 'Raya Bersama...'. While studying the script, I reflect upon the essence of Hari Raya, especially among the Malays. Besides victory at self-restrain against all sinful activities during Ramadhan, it is tradition to seek forgiveness from one another. To an outsider, it might seem unconventional to literally seek forgiveness, ie, to go on one's knees et al, but it seems natural to do such during the festive season. For many, it would be an emotionally-charged occasion to observe among families, siblings and relatives. Hari Raya is also an opportunity to return to family values.
Thus I focused at those elements to make this Hari Raya telemovie special. Your tears will not be in vain.
'Raya Bersama...' was first telecast on 14 August 2013, 8.30pm on MediaCorp's Suria channel.
Please watch it. It's in the Malay language, no subtitles. It's not a difficult programme to follow after all it's television. Furthermore, I was taught in film school that a good film do not really need any dialogues. Let me know how many boxes of tissues you've dispensed by the end of the telemovie ☺