The Story Behind Edge of Obedience


In a world where religion plays a prominent role, how much freedom of expression should an artist be allowed?

Ahmad Zakii Anwar may well be Malaysia's best-known artist. He is famous for his photo-realistic animal pictures, still life paintings and expressive portraits, which offer a timeless reinterpretation of modern Asian society. His painted images of male nudes and other controversial subjects, though beautiful, carry a sting of rebellion in his homeland. To understand what this means in a society where religion plays a prominent role, watch Edge of Obedience - streaming now on many premium platforms including AmazoniTunes and GooglePlay

About Us

View the latest details about our documentary, Edge of Obedience. A Muslim artist wants to paint the nude and other taboos in his conservative homeland of Malaysia. Edge of Obedience reveals current issues surrounding artistic expression and religious freedoms in a radicalising society, through the artist's journey in life and art.

Johor Bahru ("JB") is Malaysia's southernmost state and the hometown of the artist Ahmad Zakii Anwar. Through Ahmad Zakii Anwar's intimate observations and imagination, JB's marginalised members of society gain centre-stage and JB is profoundly humanised in his art. Cinematographer Annemarie Lean-Vercoe's atmospheric footage evocatively conveys the Malaysian artist's imagination and spiritual desires, as he charts an artistic path against the odds. 

The film's all-female core creative team comprises Jin-Theng Craven, Yin Phua and Annemarie Lean-Vercoe. Find out the team's thoughts on the project:

Key shoots took place in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and London, UK.

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Stills from Our New Film, Edge of Obedience