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This study examines the representation of women in Malay films that was produced during the ‘Golden Age’ of film-making in Singapore during the 1950s-1960s. It attempts to analyse these representation of women using Southeast Asian based gender and cultural studies, such as studies by Wazir Jahan Karim, Yaacob Harun and Jamilah Ariffin, to provide a culurally-relevant interpretation. It also attempts to identify the impact of modernity onto the representation of women in Malay films of that time. It too aims to examine these representation of women against the contemporary backdrop of Singapore-Malaysia as means to provide alternative insights in the place and position of women during that time.
With these aims in mind, this study analyses two Malay films from three different film producer and/or director. Hence, a total of six Malay films were analysed. The film selection is conducted in this manner as a particular film producer and/or director was inclined to produce a certain genre of film. The three film producer and/or director selected in this study were Cathay-Keris, known for period films, P. Ramlee known for modern films and Maria Menado, who produced both period and modern films. Hence, the purpose of this study is to analyse the varied representation of women and identify the possible reasons that had contributed to such representation of women by contextualizing the film produced in the political, social and economic climate of Singapore during that time.
This study asserts that there is a degree of differences when analysing the patriarchal notion of the ‘traditional respectable women’. This degree of differences in the representation of women was attributed to the change of perception in the place and position of women during the period of 1950-1960s. This change in perception was triggered by contemporary changes in political, economic and social circumstances that had brought about the re-emergence of intelligent and women’s movement.
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checked on May 28, 2023
checked on May 28, 2023
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