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Hang Tuah - Screening | State of Motion 2018: Sejarah-ku
The selected films were produced at a time of great change with the Malay community grappling with modernity, nationalism and the imagining of a new society. Malay legends, star-crossed lovers, aspiring comic actors and scheming mothers-in- law were just some of the familiar archetypes embedded within discourses and cultural ideas of a burgeoning new Singapore – waiting to be rediscovered on screen more than 50 years later.
Hang Tuah (1956)
Directed by: Phani Majumdar
Produced by: Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)
Runtime: 120 minutes
Language: Malay (with English subtitles)
Hang Tuah, the fabled warrior of 15th century Melaka, and Laksamana (Admiral) to Sultan Mansur Shah, faced many trials and tribulations to prove his skills and, particularly, his loyalty to the Sultan. An adaptation of Irish-born colonial civil servant Mubin Sheppard’s The Adventures of Hang Tuah, the film Hang Tuah is a familiar hero’s journey and one of the rare Malay-language films of the era that was rendered in ‘Eastmancolor'.
Film Still: Hang Tuah, 1956. Image Courtesy of © 1956 Shaw Organisation.
ABOUT STATE OF MOTION 2018: SEJARAH-KU
Films serve as records of social histories and latent discourses - more so during tumultuous times when change was most imminent.
The 2018 edition of State of Motion explores film as a site of cultural and ideological production in the last decade of pre-independence Singapore. Reactivating snippets of our national past, Sejarah-ku (Malay for 'My History') comprises a selection of seminal Malay-language films produced predominantly by the now-defunct Shaw Malay Film Productions Ltd, as well as a diverse line-up of artworks and performances made in response to the films.
In revisiting these films of the past, audiences are asked to reflect on how the ideas and discourses then return with ever greater relevancy now.