Original film title in Malay: Mata Hari
English title: The Rape of Malaya / Rising Sun
Directed by Ramon A. Estella
Written by Abdul Razak
Starring: Maria Menado, Ahmad Mahmud, Salleh Kamil, Omar Rojik
Produced by Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)
Rural Kampong (speculated to be Kampong Tanjong Kling)
Mata Hari was Malay Film Productions’ second war movie based on the Japanese invasion of Malaya/Singapore in 1941-42, released a few months after the resounding success of Lamberto Avellana and P. Ramlee’s Sergeant Hassan.
Written by Abdul Razak (who did the scripts for the Pontianak film series) and directed by the prolific Ramon Estella, the movie stars beauty queen Maria Menado (of Pontianak fame) as ‘Mata Hari’, the daughter of a kampong headman who is captured by the Japanese. She witnesses the atrocities committed by the invaders, who tortured her father to death and rounded up innocent women to become prostitutes and mistresses for their commanders. Not wanting to cower to the enemy, Mata Hari (a name inspired by the real-life WWI German spy) decides to form and lead a guerilla force to fight the Japanese.
1. ‘Peristiwa2 zaman Jepun maseh dalam pembikinan’. Berita Harian. 10 October 1958, p. 7.
2. ‘Maria-wanita bersenapang’. Berita Harian. 14 November 1958, p. 5.
3. ‘Maria shines as Mata Hari the gun girl’. The Straits Times. 30 November 1958, p.13.
4. ‘Fake background mars ‘Mata Hari’’. The Singapore Free Press. 29 November 1958, p. 4.
5. ‘Mata Hari ketua gurila menentang Jepun’. Berita Harian. 5 December 1958, p. 7.
© 1958 Malay Film Productions