Silat in the Movies: Princess of Mount Ledang

Punteri Gunung Ledang (2004 – Malaysia)

Featured arts: It is one of the first major movies to centrally feature pencak silat. It makes direct reference to the cultural, spiritual and mystical nature of the art, as well as showing fight sequences, with and without weapons. The quality of the fight choreography is a little rough in places, compared to the current standards, but this is an excellent introduction of the general public to pencak silat.

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Overview: Filmed in Malaysia, this period epic from the late 15th century depicts a forbidden romance between Gusti Putri, a Javanese Hindu princess and Hang Tuah, a Malay Muslim warrior from Melaka, against a backdrop of war and mysticism.

Rating: 9.1 (out of 10) – This is a very good movie, both as a historical epic and as a martial arts flic. Some may not agree with the high rating, but the high production values, substantial story (based on a Malaysian tragic myth), and sumptuous scenes make this very watchable. A must-watch for anyone with an interest in pencak silat or SE Asia.

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