The Offensive Internet

The Offensive Internet

Director

Yihwen Chen

Country

Malaysia

Category

Animated Documentary Film

Digital Rights Issue

Online Freedom of Expression

Synopsis

On May 3, 2020, World Press Freedom Day, South China Morning Post journalist Tashny Sukumaran was hauled off to the police station for reporting on an immigration raid by the Malaysian authorities in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Two months later, she was again summoned by the police over a book cover that allegedly insulted the nation’s coats of arms. She was but one of the book’s many contributors.

Veteran cartoonist Zunar is no stranger to the state’s intimidation and harassment over his art. During the last decade, his office has been raided and books confiscated and banned from operating multiple times. Zunar has also been banned from traveling to speak at forums, and detained for his political commentary cartoons.

The actions against Tashny and Zunar have been justified by the Malaysian government under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act . In The Offensive Internet, the two recount their experiences, sharing the harassment they faced for speaking up and why they still choose to continue to speak up.

About the Director

Yihwen “Wen” Chen is a Malaysian documentary filmmaker and journalist. In the last decade, she has edited, filmed, wrote, produced, and directed international documentaries for History Channel, Crime and Investigation Network, and Channel News Asia. Her documentary on female circumcision won the 2019 Society of Professional Journalists Award (SOPA) for Excellence in Reporting Women’s Issues. She is also a Pulitzer Center grantee.

Wen is an alumna of IDFAcademy and American Film Showcase. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Media in Film and TV Production from RMIT University. In 2019, her debut feature documentary Eye on the Ball, about Malaysia’s blind football team, premiered in London. Currently, she is working on her second documentary about marginalised communities in Malaysia, Shh…Diam. The project is supported by the Hot Docs CrossCurrents Fund.

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