Film-maker Pete Teo stormed into our hearts with his Youtube clip entitled “Hari Malaysia Kembara” (2013).
It was then a time of nation-building for all Malaysians during and after GE13 (held on 5th May 2013).
It was also in conjunction with ‘Malaysia Day’ which falls on 16th Sept 2013.
THE PAIN POINT *
The prevailing perception was that Malaysians had lost their patriotism and identity.
The feeling of ownership and sense of belonging was sadly missing from this current generation.
THE MISSION *
The objective was to tap into powerful emotions present and alive during Merdeka.
Capturing the (old) flame and rekindling the first love and patriotism for the country.
Instilling meaning, purpose and destiny to a new generation yet to experience 1957.
THE STRATEGY *
Teo digitally ‘recreated’ the scenes of Independence on the historical days of 31st August 1957.
This is where the nation’s founding father; our first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman declared ‘Merdeka’ meaning freedom, liberty and independence.
Teo used ‘green-screen’ multimedia technologies to super-impose current politicians and celebrities into old historical clips from 1957.
It was an infusion and a fusion of the current and living into an historical event 56 years ago. (2013-1957 = 56 years)
THE RESULTING MASTERPIECE *
A remix and reimagination so subtle, so moving, so powerful.
Fusing present-day living icons with stirring memories of meaningful history.
Soft and beautiful music alluring to the heartbeat and poetic lyrics inviting us to join in.
CONGRATULATIONS PETE TEO *
The agenda and motive of making this film was highly commendable and noble.
We have good reasons to celebrate the creative genius of Malaysian filmmaker Pete Teo.
SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES *
However, there is something stirring in me as an after-thought.
Did filmmaker Pete Teo really need to BYPASS or TRICK our logical minds?
Did anyone ask for our consent or our permission for this secret operation?
Were there SUBLIMINAL messages in the film which were sent secretly into our subconscious mind?
OUR CONSCIOUS MIND *
Our conscious mind acts as a logical and reasoning filter to all incoming information and experiences in life.
Information which are fake, or does not fit our beliefs are tagged ‘deviant’ and are ‘cold-storaged’.
Like computer viruses locked up in “VAULT” of the anti-virus software and added into the virus signature list.
OUR SUBCONSCIOUS MIND *
Information approved by our conscious mind are tagged ‘acceptable’ and stored in our subconscious mind; for later use.
Such information are very powerful because it serves like computer codes which are drivers to our future actions and behaviour.
ETHICAL ISSUES *
This is the 21st century and there are many ingenious film-makers like Pete Teo in the world.
If they can resort to manipulating reality and creating multimedia illusions:-
> to trick our minds so that we accept the illusions, delusions and deceptions as real;
> to circumvent our logical and perception checkpoints that filter out fake news;
> to insert hidden subliminal messages into our subconscious mind.
Kindly do advise us – should there be a red line drawn to define the boundaries of ethical behaviour?
THE GRAVE SITUATION IS *
Both our conscious and subconscious mind are designed to work together.
If you bypass our conscious mind, it would be akin to using hypnosis on the person.
Hypnosis is where the hypnotist puts the person and her conscious mind into a sleep-like trance;
Then he communicates directly with the person’s subconscious mind;
For the purpose of planting benign auto-suggestions or positive affirmations.
Would anyone agree to have his or her spouse to be hypnotized;
Without a video camera or 3rd party supervision?
OUR MINDS CAN BE TRICKED *
The interesting questions are:-
Was ‘Nurul Izzah Anwar’ or ‘Namewee’ even born or existing in 1957?
Were the RTM building even built and ‘Majulah Malaysia’ slogan even conceived in 1957?
Were the cultural dances of Sabah and Sarawak (1963) even relevant to ‘Merdeka’ or Malaya in 1957?
A CRUCIAL QUESTION FOR PETE TEO *
If the agenda and motive of the filmmaker’s client becomes questionable or cannot be scrutinized,
How do we guard ourselves from hidden subliminal messages that seep into our subconscious mind?
We just realized that you have the awesome power to influence our thoughts, feelings and actions!
FROM KEMBARA (2013) TO CITIZENS (2017) *
My comments on ‘Citizens’ will appear in a future posting.