Lights, Camera & Sound: Disciples, a short film about the Malaysian Skinhead culture

I was excited to watch this documentary advertised on Instagram page of nowness. The name of this film is Disciples. With the recent surge in right-wing politics, it was only a matter of time when the term “Skinhead” would make it way on national headlines. I’m a fan of hardcore punk, black metal, experimental metal and grindcore, etc. There exist skinheads in the confines of the msuci culture whether that be as musicians, fans or organizers, etc.

Disciples presents a compelling story of the three types of skinhead groups, “SHARP (SkinHead Against Racial Prejudice), Traditional (Rejects all politics and labels) and Nazi (Far-Right Malay Power Skins with Neo-Nazi views). In Malaysia, they have an annual skinhead festival called MASKAD (Malacca) were all these different group of skins congregate together celebrating skinhead culture.

Disciples gives impressive introspective views from four different skins such as Martin (SHARP), AUS & Hakiem (Malay Power/Nazi) and Ninie (Traditional). The cinematographer’s approach and technique is textbook documentary work reminiscient of the 2000’s and Wong Kar Wai style. I believe each skinhead gave a cascade viewpoint on where they stand on their position as skins in a Islamic society who would deem them a bit undesirable within the confines of social standards.

I, myself, is a person of color watching this film was a breath of fresh air. I had similar issues with being Straightedge into Hardcore Punk, Grindcore and Black Metal while be ing a wrestler. I didn’t carry strong political issues, but I knew what was right or wrong regardless whether the political issues were liberal or conservative.

Hench, I have met SHARP and Traditional (Oi) skins with no conflicting attitudes. However, Nazi/White Power skins would pop up at events, whether I was there or not, and fights would break out. That shit gets old so fast! I love skinheads. I told one of my old college friends from years ago I would have joined in with them had they invited me. SHARP at heart.?

If, you want to get a taste of how southeast asian culture skinhead culture, comparatively not different from here in the states, I suggest watch this flick. Beside the horror flick “The Green Room,” I believe we must erase the label of “Neo-Nazi” synonymous with “Skinhead” and let this film educate us on how a subculture develops ones self-identity, self-empowernment and spiritual awakening compared to Hollywood’sNazi-skinhead spiel” we watch on the big screen/VHS/DVD/Blu-ray/streaming platforms to dilute our thinking about a powerful and glorious subculture that was birth from Jamaican ska/reggae/roots music to intergrate into hardcore punk/metal/experimental culture in positive and negative lights.

Hardcore isn’t about your fashion, your longevity, your brutality, your pride or your rebellious nature.

No, hardcore is knowing you don’t prove it; but, live it, breath it, meditate, pray, eat, sleep and define it everyday until your last breathe on god’s green earth.


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