Watch Malay cinema from the 1950s to 1960s

by | January 15, 2018

Asian Film Archive’s State of Motion 2018 brings a lineup of seminal Malay films, an exhibition and guided film location tours.


Minister Yaacob Ibrahim looking at an exhibition panel on the well-known Malay film “Hang Tuah” (1956). He is accompanied by Kamiliah Bahdar, curator of State of Motion 2018: Sejarah-ku during the official opening of State of Motion 2018.

Revisit Singapore’s past through several seminal Malay films like P Ramlee’s “Ibu Mertua Ku” (My Mother-in-Law) and L Krishnan’s “Selamat Tinggal Kekasehku” (Goodbye My Love), produced mainly by Shaw Malay film productions during the golden era of Malay cinema in Singapore from the 1950s to 1960s. You can catch these and more at this year’s State of Motion – the Asian Film Archive’s (AFA) annual flagship film and visual arts series of programmes – which is back for the third time. There are not only films, but there is a new lineup of artworks, and for the first time, an offshore film location tour.

The films will be screened at the auditorium of the Malay Heritage Centre every Wednesday and Thursday from January 17 to February 8. Many of these films were produced at a time when an increasingly active Malay community, particularly the literary elites, participated in shaping the cultural sphere in Singapore. There is an exhibition at the National Library Building’s (NLB) Plaza showcasing these discourses which influenced Malay film productions in the last decade of pre-independence Singapore, from 1955 to 1965, through a film montage, photos and ephemera, which explain the history and background of the featured Malay films.

The exhibition is the anchor programme of State of Motion 2018 and the starting point for the guided film location tours. Within the duration of three-and-a-half hours, participants will be presented a compilation of film clips and be guided around Singapore, starting from NLB to various film locations such as Jalan Ampas, the former Shaw Villa at East Coast Road, and the former Kangkar Village Jetty at Sungei Serangoon Park Connector. Participants can view the site-specific artworks by Khairulddin Wahab, Izzad Radzali Shah, Wu Jun Han, Tan Peiling, Mintio, Salleh Japar and Boedi Widjaja.

There will also be an offshore tour. Participants will watch a live performance at Pulau Ubin inspired by the films “Hang Tuah” and “Hang Jebat”, before taking a ferry ride around Pulau Sekudu, where the films were filmed, and heading back to Singapore mainland. For both the mainland and offshore tours, there is a charge of S$15 and S$12, respectively. Tickets for these are also available at: For the films, admission is free with registration at




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