These movies will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions as they showcase different aspects of our society, both before and after independence.

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Photo courtesy of Adiwiraku

Wei macha, you want to makan here or tapau?

To any other person, this sentence may sound odd. But for us, living in Malaysia, no other line can showcase what our country truly stands for – the union of languages, communities, cultures and of course, food.

As the nation gears up towards another anniversary of independence, why not make it a celebration of this diversity that defines the very core of the Malaysian identity.

Read also: Meets the faces behind MUD-KL, the musical that dwells deep into the history of KL. 

From the struggle of independence to the atrocities of the Japanese occupation and from a simple yet complicated love story to the challenges of teaching English in the kampungs of Kedah; here are some movies to catch up on when the feeling of patriotism strikes.


Based on the book, T for Teacher, Adiwiraku highlights the challenges that two teachers face in teaching English to students of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Pinang Tunggal, Kedah. Behind the world of classrooms and textbooks, the teachers discover a slice of rural Malaysia, dramatically different from the urban lifestyle they are used to.

Ola Bola

This inspiring movie takes us into the heart of a multicultural football team where incidences of disagreements are higher than the probabilities of securing a goal. After a string of embarrassing losses, the team pushes aside their differences and leads the country to a triumphant win. Ola Bola shares the resounding message of staying united and appreciating diversity, all tied together with the nation’s favourite sport – football.

The Journey

Heart-warming and funny, The Journey broke the Malaysian box-office record for being the highest grossing movie in 2014. The movie revolves around Uncle Chuan, a conservative Chinese father living in Cameron Highlands and Benji, his not-so-oblivious-to-Chinese-traditions son-in-law. Under odd circumstances, they embark on a cross-country road trip learning to recognise and respect each other’s cultural differences along the way. 

1957: Hati Malaya

1957: Hati Malaya tells the tale of four young Malaysians who are assigned to create a picture book from the events of 1957 that led to Merdeka. What is essentially a work assignment, soon becomes a lesson in patriotism as each of them discover the true meaning of independence through the historic lives of Tunku Abdul Rahman and other heroes who paved the path for an independent nation.

Sarjan Hassan

Starring P. Ramlee, Sarjan Hassan is a movie of love, betrayal, war and loyalty. Growing up as a foster child, Hassan dreams of serving the Malay regiment during the World War II, when he is asked to look after his father’s orchard. Frustrated, he runs away to serve the army and earns the title of a sergeant. The movie revolves around the trials and tribulations that Hassan faces as he sheds his good-boy image and gears up to face the Japanese occupation.


A Chinese VCD seller, a Malay school girl and a classic love story. While many assume Sepet to be a romantic comedy, the movie is the first reflection of modern Malaysian cinema as it delicately explores the question of racial and religious differences that continue to persist in society even today.

Not a movie buff? Here's our pick of top books to read before the nation turns 60.

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