Peon

By June Wong, Shaiful Yahya and Syaz Zainal

Malaysia | In Malay with English subtitles | 2019 | 14 min 50 sec | PG

 

In Peon, a delivery rider receives an order to deliver passports on his phone. He gets a voice message enroute offering him money to send them to a different address, and realises that the passports belong to a group of Bangladeshi workers. Riveting from start to end, Peon addresses unconscious biases towards immigrants in Malaysia. 

The film is based on real-life events that occurred during director Shaiful Yahya’s stint as a Grab driver. The story unfolds through texts, voice messages and video calls, allowing the audience to experience events from the rider’s point-of-view. This approach also alludes to how, for many, life now happens online.

This film is also available for online viewing in Singapore, during the festival period 2-25 July 2021.

 

June Wong (b. 1989, Switzerland) has been producing content for television in Malaysia since 2015. Peon is her directorial debut. Shaiful Yahyu (b. 1984, Malaysia) was an audio engineer before directing Anuar “Black” Mustapha, which won top prize in the 2017 Everyday Humans Short Film Competition. Syaz Zainal (b. 1989, Malaysia) has worked in film and television for nine years, with notable projects like Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

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