John Krich (Asian Wall St. Journal):
"As someone who began by writing a disguised "autobiography"
of Fidel Castro, I certainly understand the impulse to blur the lines
between so-called fact and so-called fiction, and I only was troubled
because you did it so very well! I think DURIAN is a big step up in the
docu-fiction-film-essay genre which you seem to be invented, even if sometimes
seems your thoughts are racing ahead with little regard to the image being
shown, but keeping your special wit and anger and point of view is what
makes it special, and I know that is not easy to do."
Volker Wolf (head of Goethe Institute Kuala Lumpur):
"Thorny outside, but very pleasant inside - for those who like the
taste and consistency. A bit like Malaysia, only, the outside should at
least make a difference between the Malaysians and all the others, it's
not fair that it is indistinctly thorny to all of them, even to the ones
Amir, I loved the film! Even though it was so crowded with many opinions
on ever so many subjects and topics out of Malaysian history and society
- which I would have not understood, had I not accidentally just finished
reading Rehman Rashid's Malaysian Journey - it was very amusing, entertaining
and even visual, filmlike!
I believe you merged the form and content of your subject matter extremely
well, even with respect to medium and genre! A documentary which puts
itself in question! Which does not take itself as seriously as documentaries
normally do; a tale of a society which takes itself all too seriously,
which becomes exposed and ridiculed exactly because of that, but which
is also noticably loved by the narrator.
Puzzles, kaleidoscopes, some Adam / some Sadam / some Red Herring thrown
into the pot in order to show the quirky state of truth; truth, which
is relative for us subjective humans anyway, and you give us this wonderful
parable of the young Chinese guy who tries facially and verbally so hard
to tell us something and fails. And yet, there is not only the human folly
you have warm sympathy and understanding for, there is also the wilful
deceipt, the lies intentionally told and you expose them so well and show
your disgust by making brilliant fun of them.
Anyway, this is admirer's blurb, but I could go on interpreting the mix
for ever; there is hardly anything that irritated or annoyed me, maybe
some of the 'word - picture doubles', like when you push our noses onto
the self evident by picturing what was said by showing some caricature,
yeah, I guess this happened four or five times and once or twice out of
those I thought it was stupid and I got annoyed, but it was playful, nevertheless
Steven Gan (editor, Malaysiakini):
"I thoroughly enjoyed the world premiere last night. It
was a provocative docu-drama - informative, educational and yet entertaining.
We should look at how Malaysiakini can help Amir reach a wider audience.
Every Malaysian - that's 20 million of us - should watch it."