Original film title in Malay: Kembar
English title: Twin Sisters
Chinese title: 姊妹花
Directed by S. Ramanathan
Written by S. Ramanathan (story)
Music by (Gerry) A. Soliano, with lyrics by Zubir Said
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Brothers)
Cast: Mariam, M. Amin, Daeng Harris, Jaffar Wiryo, Siti Tanjung Perak
Released August 1950 (in Singapore).
Downtown Singapore – Procession of illuminated floats to celebrate royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (20 November 1947)
Coastal kampungs on Lazarus Island (Pulau Sekijang Pelepah)
Bukit Timah Turf Club
Great World or New World Amusement Park
Kembar is about two identical twin sisters who are separated at a young age. One of the twins, Asmah (Mariam), gets lost during a family outing to a night carnival. An old fisherman finds Asmah and adopts her. The other twin, Asiah (also Mariam, in a double role), grows up to be a famed dance hostess. Asmah, on the other hand, lives in the fishing village with her foster father. A chance encounter (love at first sight) in waters off the village leads Asmah to fall in love with Bashir, a wealthy young man from the city. However, they lose touch and Bashir tries to seek Asmah out, but gets acquainted with the other twin Asiah instead. A case of mistaken identity that eventually leads to tragedy.
From ‘Mapping the Southern Island’s Heritage Landscape: Integrating culture and nature in heritage conservation’ by Asia Research Institute (NUS):
“This film (Kembar) was introduced to us by Cik Jalil. Cik Jalil was around 7 – 8 years old when the film crew arrived to shot the scenes of stilt houses and fishermen activities for the film. According to Cik Jalil, ‘90% of the film was shot at Lazarus Island.’ This film also marked a special day for him because the day the film crew arrived, it ‘was also the first day the people of the Southern Islands were told to register themselves as Singaporeans.'”
Filming locations of Kembar (in Singapore):
Downtown Singapore – procession of illuminated floats to celebrate royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (20 November 1947) [5:10]
Pulau Sekijang Pelepah (Lazarus Island) [7:48, 25:37, 57:24, 59:20, 1:19:14]
St. John’s Island (in the background) [15:31]
Bukit Timah Turf Club [29:42]
Great World or New World Amusement Park [42:53]
Pasir Panjang [11:12]
1. ‘New Malay Films’. The Straits Times, 6 August 1950, p. 14.
2. ‘Cinema news by J.C. Behague’. The Straits Times, 18 August 1950, p. 9.
3. Film reviews by ‘Victor Staines’. The Straits Times, 20 August 1950, p. 14.
4. Review of ‘Kembar’. The Straits Times, 30 August 1950, p. 9.
5. ‘Singapore Celebration Programme. Royal Wedding Day.’ The Straits Times, 20 November 1947, p. 5.
6. ‘Singapore Celebrations. Three-mile-long lantern parade.’ The Straits Times, 21 November 1947, p. 8.
7. ‘”Extra” Injured During Shooting of New Film’. The Straits Times, 24 June 1950, p. 7.
© 1950 Malay Film Productions
© 2003 Music Valley
© 2013 Toh Hun Ping