Dain Iskander Said
Malaysia, Indonesia | 2016 | 103 min | English, Malay
The power of photography and the legacy of colonialism intersect eerily in this stylish Malaysian supernatural thriller. Emotionally distraught after witnessing the aftermath of a bizarre murder, forensic photographer Adam retreats from the world until he is reawakened by the arrival on his doorstep of a detective named Man. Another, similar murder has been perpetrated and Adam is needed to help unravel the mystery. Soon he is drawn into a world of blood-drained corpses and antique photographs that appear to capture his beautiful new neighbour Iva—decades before she could possibly have been born. As the film progresses, century-old superstitions are reignited and Adam and Man discover Malyasia’s mystical underbelly of shamans and the uncanny. Interchange is based on the true story of Norwegian explorer Carl Lumholtz, who travelled through central Borneo between 1913 and 1917 and photographed a group tribal women bathing in a river, in an attempt to cleanse themselves of the evil effects of being captured on film.
Dain Iskander Said
Malaysian writer and director Dain Iskandar Said holds a BA in photography, film and video from the Polytechnic of Central London, UK. After establishing himself in TV commercials, he moved into long-form and experimental work. His first media installation was shown at the 2006 Biennale of Sydney, Australia. Dain’s previous films include the controversial horror feature Duken (2006), which has never been publicly screened, the documentary short Fish Listeners of Setiu Lagoons (2010) and the feature Bunohan: Return to Murder (2011). Describing Interchange’s central discourse, he says, “The relationship of Adam and Iva is that of murderer and victim, of the camera and its object—an ever-circling, self- perpetuating sickness of the self as image and image as self. Healing necessarily involves a bloodletting—dying and transforming, from the negative to the positive, from the dark to the light.”