By A.Akbar

While all eyes are on Muslims around the world after devastating terrorist attacks, a Malaysian production rose to show the reality of how moderate Muslims deal with everyday life.

Hijabsta Ballet, an upcoming Malaysian movie, showcases the story of a young ballerina called Adele Shakiri who faces major hurdles when she choses to wear the hijab – despite ballet having strict dress codes.

From the trailer, Adele, played by Puteh Maimun Zahrah, is a passionate ballerina who wants to achieve great things in the dance field. However, as she grows older, Adele is being reminded to ‘remember her roots’ in pursuing ballet, which escalates to her donning the hijab herself. From there, Adele is thrown into a major dilemma: honoring the sacred ballet code by giving up on the hijab, or staying true to the values and dancing her way through despite criticism.

The director, Syed Zulkifli Syed Masir said:  ‘Hijabsta Ballet is a Malay movie, albeit with 20% English dialogue, trying to get away from the stereotyped perception of local industry. We opt for drama genre, a departure from action, horror, comedy, love which many felt a recipe for malay box office. Our subject is heavy and layered (however our 3000 respondents said it is easy to follow); the main casts are newcomers, most never have exposure nor training in film or acting.

It is about Adele who is about to step into the elite bright path of ballet, suddenly decides to wear hijab, breaking her mother’s heart, rejected by her ballet academy and wrath of society, religious authority and extremists. She is however adamant she can unite the unmatchable worlds. She wants the impossible. The film also aspires to achieve the impossible.’

Watch the trailer below:

 

Hijabsta will open in cinemas starting 3rd August 2017. Will this film appeal to the Malaysian masses for it’s liberal idea in mixing dance and religion, or will it backfire? Either way this makes us seriously excited for a contemporary look at Malaysian society.

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