The R&D Studio, producers of the award winning short film Batik Girl presents The Dalang’s Tale where the topic of domestic violence is presented through the medium of animation with visuals inspired by Malaysian traditional wayang kulit or shadow puppets.


In the Dalang's Tale, two stories intertwine: one of a workaholic father and his growing impatience with his young son as they make their way to a wayang kulit show and the other of a man who dotes on his son but secretly inflicts acts of abuse on his wife before he disappears after a violent incident.


The Dalang’s Tale started with a question: "What should you do if you find out that someone is in an abusive relationship?"

It was a simple question that led to more questions.

How should we help? How do we convince the person to talk to the authorities? Do we alert the authorities ourselves? Would the person get into more trouble if we got involved? What if we probed about the abuse and the person denied it? Do we still pursue the matter then?

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 3 women experience sexual or physical violence from an intimate partner. By correlation, domestic violence can happen to your own daughter, sister or friend.

We did research and consulted with organizations that helps victims of domestic violence. When word got out that we were doing a short film on domestic violence, there were brave women who came forward to share with us their personal stories.

It took us a long time to process everything and come up with a story that tries to answer the question of "What should you do?"

As individuals and as a society, we cannot be ignorant or indifferent to this important issue. We have to rid ourselves of the mentality of not wanting to bring shame to the person or their family when we encounter cases of domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a crime, there are no two ways about it. Every one of us has the responsibility of doing all that we can to support the victims and to put a stop to this hateful crime.

It is also important that survivors of domestic violence tell their stories for there is strength and healing when they tell their stories to others. Their insights can help to save lives.

Our sincerest hope is that The Dalang’s Tale will add a new voice through the medium of animation on the important issue of domestic violence.


Written and Directed by Irwan Junaidy, Maizura Abas & 'Atiqah Mohd Abu Bakar
Production design by 'Atiqah Mohd Abu Bakar
Animation production by The R&D Studio
Compositing and Effects by Mclelun Lee
Original music by Andrew Bong

Please share the film to create awareness on domestic violence and physical abuse as we all have a collective responsibility to stop it.

#shortfilm #animation #domesticviolence


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