Scene from the film Absent without Leave
Scene from the film Absent without Leave
Scene from the film Absent without Leave
Scene from the film Absent without Leave
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Absent without Leave

  • Taiwan
Audio Tracks 

They sacrificed their lives fighting for the independence of their country, but their stories have remained untold for 60 years, until now. The story begins with a portrait of man that has been hanging for more than 30 years in the director’s family home in Perak, Malaysia. It’s long standing taboo that the director’s family do not talk about this man, to the extent that even to bring up his name or his past is to create distain from my older relatives in the family. Eventually the director finds out that this portrait is his grandfather, who sacrificed his life fighting for Malaysia’s independence and decolonisation, but his and his comrades’ stories are excluded from Malaysian history. This documentary is an enquiry into why these stories have been excluded from Malaysian history.


  • Original title
    Absent without Leave
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Lau Kek-huat
  • Editing
    Lau Kek-huat
  • Music
    Lin Hung-Tao
  • Sound
    Tang Ya-Jhu
  • Duration
    83 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Taiwan
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Festivals
    • Busan International Film Festival 2016
    • Singapore International Film Festival 2016
    • Taipei Film Festival 2016
  • Awards
    • Singapore International Film Festival - Audience Choice Award 2016 is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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