Singapore Film Locations Archive

Jiwa Lara / A Heartbroken Soul (1952)

Original film title in Malay: Jiwa Lara
Literal English translation of film title: A Heartbroken Soul
Chinese title: 一夕貪歡

Directed by S. Ramanathan
Written by S. Ramanathan (story), Jamil Sulong (dialogue)
Songs by Osman Ahmad, with gurindam by S. Sudarmadji
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Brothers)
In Malay
Cast: Osman Gumanti, Rokiah Jaafar, Neng Yatimah, A. Rahim

Released March 1952 (in Singapore)

Film Locations (in Singapore):
Bukit Timah Railway Station

Accomplished stage performer Osman brings his wife Fatimah and their children to visit her parents at the kampong. The elderly folks receive them at the train station (in reality the Bukit Timah Railway Station). Osman and Fatimah are introduced to Salbiah, the daughter of a friend of Fatimah’s mother who resides in the same house. Salbiah, who is a gifted dancer and singer, is encouraged to find work in a Sandiwara troupe in Singapore. When Osman’s family returns to Singapore, Salbiah follows suit and resides in their house. Initially disapproving of Salbiah’s talents, Osman begins to like her and places her in leading roles opposite him during dance performances. Behind Fatimah’s back, Osman and Salbiah develop a loving relationship. Osman becomes embroiled in a tortuous tangle of adultery, familial responsibility and devious plots to bring him harm.

_01-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _02-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _03-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _04-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _05-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _06-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation _07-JiwaLara-BukitTimah-RailwayStation

Jiwa Lara proves that Malay films have come a long way. This is a tragic drama with as usual the tragedy a little overpowering, but there are also delightful bits of sly humour. Rokiah is bewitching in her alluring song-and-dance numbers with easy moving variations of the ‘joget moderne.’ Osman Gumanti as a dancer, who is tortured by his love for two women proves that he has versatile talent.” (The Singapore Free Press, 8 March 1952).

Filming locations of Jiwa Lara:
Bukit Timah Railway Station [4:58, 15:40]

Further Reading:
‘It’s Malay – and it’s good.’ The Singapore Free Press, 8 March 1952, p. 2.

Film Images:
© 1952 Malay Film Productions
© 2003 Music Valley

19520402 Jiwa Lara Newspaper Ads 2a

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