A girl called Taina

Sitting in a remote corner of Curtain Call Bistro @ KLPac while waiting for the film to start somehow brought me back to a part of yesterday once more. I was early for Taina ( Part 1 ), one of the films shown for this year’s Brazillian Film Festival. A good 30 min early and no one was in the theater yet. I was alone. The husband dropped me off and went about to attend to his own things. I had with me ‘Sons and Lovers’. So I thought a cuppa and a few pages would be nice, since it was raining.

From the cosy seat where I was, I could see the park outside KLPac. It was lovely. The atmosphere was peaceful and I felt, well.. strangely, at home. It reminded me of those days, a long time ago of Saturday afternoons at The Substation, Home of The Arts as it was known then ( or is it still is? ). The small garden, (more of a courtyard really) in there had been my time-out place. A good book and a good deal of quietness, it was there I went for some Saturday afternoons retreats away from the dizzying crowd outside. It was like a sanctuary of sorts.

Anyway, I sort of had that moment again, today. Something which I have not had or felt for a long, long time.

Today’s film, entitled Taina, is about an Amazonian ‘orang-asli’ kid who had been tasked by her grandfather before he died to protect the animals and the plants of the forest. The story tells about the evils of these poachers taking endangered species and selling them to illegal agents worldwide. And how researchers and scientists are working together with the tribes in there to help conserve the forest.

Beautiful images of the animals ala National Geographic documentaries intertwined with comedic moments to tell the story of friendship between Johindo, the son of a researcher–typical city kid with his whole set of computer games with him in the jungle and Taina. Johindo hated the jungle and as any typical city kid, thinks that Taina and her people are uneducated cannibals. The film unfolded in a very heart-warming way, showing how their friendship developed. Johindo became receptive of the jungle when his whole mindset changed after he realised Taina knew way too much more about the jungle than he did, and rescued him on several occasions. It was like the little children version of Pocahontas but with more serious issues of conservation and friendship tackled.

After the film, I had wanted to watch the next screening of Taina 2, but the husband was already there waiting for me and had wanted to go to KLCC. We found two surau-s outside the ground floor restrooms each for male and female. We did our asar there first. What a pleasant surprise! Back then in my hometown, I had problems on many occasions on where to do my maghrib prayers whenever I wanted to attend an evening performance. Usually plays would start around 7.30 and in the venues there, they were not anywhere near any mosque nor are there any suraus in the venues either. So either I chose to go to the afternoon matinee performance or I do my maghrib underneath the staircases or behind some secluded places in the building, just to be in time for the play. If the play happened to be by the people I know, they would be kind enough to let me into their dressing rooms for my 10 min of maghrib. Hence KLPac having such facility is really a gesture which myself, and I’m sure many other likeminded arts enthusiasts appreciate.


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