Sim Chee Cheang
A glance through film criticism in Malaysia yields sporadic popular criticism and mostly academic analysis of traditional iconic Malay films starring P. Ramlee as social criticism. In recent years, criticism of Malay films is focused on directors like U-Wei whose films like Perempuan, Isteri & … (1993) and Buai Laju-laju (2004) have provoked political and social controversies. These films may not have achieved significantly in the Malaysian box office but the attention they drew towards the perception of women from the sociocultural perspective demands a critical look at Malaysian feminism through the female identification of the heroine in seven Malay films across nine years (2010–2019). These actresses were awarded best actress awards for their portrayal of the Malaysian woman by the established National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).
Keywords: Malaysian feminism, film criticism, female protagonist, stereotypes