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Monday, 24 August 2009

Yasmin Ahmad

Today I read of the death of a Malaysian filmmaker I had never heard of before.

Her name was Yasmin Ahmad. She made a very short (3 minute) very touching film not long ago, to be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mJ9BBXQ7d8

She was not too popular among the rulers of Malaysia; and the older I get the more I am inclined to think that anyone unpopular with rulers anywhere is probably a good sort.

Her death reminded me of John Donne’s meditation:

No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

It is 50 years or more since I first read that. It still moves me – as does the death of Yasmin Ahmad, whom I never knew or even heard of before, and who died at only 51.

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