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 various taboo subjects are beautiful...and not always readily accepted in his homeland. See details below about our film, and watch Edge of Obedience, now streaming on AmazoniTunes and GooglePlay, and other premium platforms.


View the latest details about our documentary, Edge of Obedience

Edge of Obedience tells the story of a man who follows his heart to create his remarkable and controversial series of nudes, portraits and animals.

Ahmad Zakii Anwar wants to paint like the Renaissance masters. Their works, seen in magazines from the West, deeply inspire him. When he begins his journey to realise his dream, Malaysia does not have an art market to speak of. Raised in a traditional Malay Muslim household in Malaysia, his desire to draw the human figure, let alone the nude, is also a delicate matter. 

Learn how this gifted artist achieves commercial success and critical acclaim against the odds, and the current issues surrounding artistic expression and religious freedoms, in a conservative and radicalising society.

Production: Jin-Theng Craven, Yin Phua and Annemarie Lean-Vercoe

Edit: Susan Brand

Find out the team's thoughts on the project:

Key Locations: Johor Bahru, Malaysia and London, UK.

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Stills from Our New Film, Edge of Obedience