An apartment building in Kuala Lumpur that houses migrants. Hanh secretly meets with a girl who shares her ice cream with her. A familiar routine. Later, Hanh looks after a different girl, who is surprised when Hanh kisses her. No, she is not this girl’s mother. In each scene, the way this calm, polyglot woman is seen changes, ever present and active within the frame. Hands, again and again. Without complaint, she helps everyday life function better, washing up, tidying, taking out rubbish. Which of these households is hers? The film does not resolve its ambiguities and enigmas, feeding them back into the narrative instead. Hanh also seems to be lying in wait, evading attention. She is in constant motion on the stairs and open walkways of the building. Like the others here, she has no papers. She cannot provide for the daughter she brought with her from Vietnam. Bound to badly paid jobs and threatened by the police, at times she disappears into her dreams. This Malaysian debut makes no distinction between dream and reality and wanders through the spaces of an existence denied rights. The seemingly unremarkable Hanh, played by nail artist Thi Diu Ta, is its quiet star.
by Chee Sum Chia
with Thi Diu Ta, Aster Ee Yeow, Abd Manaf Bin Rejab
Malaysia / Singapore / France 2023 Cantonese, Vietnamese, Malayan, Mandarin, Tamil, Burmese, Subtitles: English 90' European premiere | Debut film

With

  • Thi Diu Ta
  • Aster Ee Yeow
  • Abd Manaf Bin Rejab

Crew

DirectorChee Sum Chia
ScreenplayChee Sum Chia
CinematographyJimmy Gimferrer
EditingChloe Mun Ee Yap, Chee Sum Chia
MusicWei Yong Teo
SoundChor Guan Ng
Production DesignIvy Kah Minh Choong
CostumesMomo Woon
ProducersYve Vonn Lee, Fran Borgia, Xavier Rocher, Chee Sum Chia

Produced by

theCommonist

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Afternoon Pictures

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Akanga Film Asia

Singapur, Singapore

akangafilm.com akangafilm.com

La Fabrica Nocturna Cinéma

Paris, France

www.lafabricanocturna.com www.lafabricanocturna.com

World Sales

Diversion

Bangkok, Thailand

diversion-th.com/ diversion-th.com/

Chee Sum Chia

Born in Malaysia. He attended the Asian Film Academy (Busan), the FIRST Training Camp (Xining) and received the Talents Tokyo Award in 2020. His short film High Way (2018) won the Jury Prize at the Busan International Short Film Festival. He is co-founder of theCommonist, a film and animation production company based in Malaysia and Thailand. Oasis of Now is his feature debut.

Filmography

2018 High Way; short film 2023 Oasis of Now

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2024

Dates

Sun Feb 18 19:00

Zoo Palast 2

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Mon Feb 19 22:00

Akademie der Künste

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Wed Feb 21 21:30

Arsenal 1

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Sun Feb 25 15:00

Cinema Betonhalle@Silent Green

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