Isi Neraka - 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.

Visit https://stateofmotion.sg for full programme lineup.

Isi Neraka (1960)

Sinners to Hell

Directed by: Jamil Sulong
Produced by: Malay Film Productions (Shaw Bros.)
Runtime: 111 minutes
Language: Malay Subtitles: English
Rating: TBA

Isi Neraka opens in 14th century Melaka where an Arab preacher named Syed Abdul Aziz has persuaded the sultan and his court to convert to Islam. Islam begins to flourish and is accepted by the local residents. But in a nearby village, Wira, a young man scorns the teachings of Islam and its restrictions even as his mother and sister become newly devout converts. The moralistic tale sets up an uncompromising binary between the virtuous Muslim faithful and the immoral corruptible dissenters.

Film Still: Isi Neraka, 1960. Image Courtesy of Wong Han Min.

*Please note that this is the best possible screening copy available, as the original copies of this film are currently considered to be lost. Due to the source from which it was taken, the film's projected quality would appear to be compromised.


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.


  • The event description was updated. Diff#302967 2017-12-19 07:07:53
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Wed Jan 17, 2018
8:00 PM - 9:45 PM SGT
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Malay Heritage Centre, Auditorium
Isi Neraka - 17 Jan, 8pm FULL
Venue Address
Malay Heritage Centre Singapore
Asian Film Archive