Every year, around this time, I usually get an extra reminder that Hari Raya is coming up. This year was someone’s Facebook posting of the opening pages to my short story “Home for Hari Raya” from Lovers and Strangers Revisited. The story was adapted into a film by Ohio University’s School of Media Arts & Studies.
Led by Associate Professor Frederick Lewis, a team of students came to Malaysia for the filming and worked with Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), in Shah Alam.
Other than writing the original story (and the story behind the story), I helped to edit their screenplay. I had hoped to meet the team at UiTM, but we had a scheduling conflict and I missed out…
But this year, I was thinking about "Home for Hari Raya" for another reason due to another filming project that I recently became involved with courtesy of Somerset Maugham. The French translation of Lovers and Strangers Revisited, which became Trois autres Malaisie, had attracted the attention of Laure Michel who contacted me from France about her documentary Sensual Malaysia of Somerset Maugham for Arte, a Franco-German cultural channel, which aired on 5 June 2017.
In my five-part series, Maugham and Me, I blogged about the behind the scenes look at not one but three documentaries that she and Richard Cloue had filmed while in Sarawak. I then blogged about watching the films, adding links to all three projects. (The links will remain online until early August 2017, so if you come upon this after that, the links may be gone.
So for all Malaysians who celebrate Hari Raya, Selamat Hari Raya! And for the rest, enjoy the Open Houses and the holiday!
And if you have an interest in Somerset Maugham and/or Sarawak, here are the links (with some great photos) to the five parts of Maugham and Me: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V
Here's a link to the intro and excerpts, and to four reviews of Trois Autres Malaisie in eurasie.net, Malaisie.org, easyvoyage.com, and Petit Futé mag.