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Singapore on Film

It is rare to find home movies in the pre-war period, filmed by non-Europeans. But at the National Archives of Singapore, a single reel survives - a precious record of Peranakan life in the 1930s.
Singapore on Film

Singapore on Film - S1: Best of Singapore on Film: Peranakan Home Movies

02 Feb 2019 10:00am
It is rare to find home movies in the pre-war period, filmed by non-Europeans. But at the National Archives of Singapore, a single reel survives - a precious record of Peranakan life in the 1930s.

Singapore on Film

About the show:

Singapore on Film explores the earliest footage of Singapore, dating back to 1900. The films include 'Coolie Boys' and 'Ananas', filmed more than 100 years ago by the Pathe Brothers. Much of this remarkable archive has never been seen before, and has been specially restored and digitised by the British Film Institute. 

This fascinating archive shows that Singapore was a multi-cultural melting-pot, but life was grindingly hard for the majority. We see coolie dockers, rickshaw pullers, Sikh policemen and child labourers. Rare films of a grand Peranakan funeral and Hindu fire-walking show scenes both familiar and unfamiliar. Newly-discovered home movies shine an intimate light into the lives of the elite.

Through interviews with historians, writers and filmmakers, we reveal stories both epic and intimate. The programmes are narrated by renowned British actress Jenny Agutter, with the archive brought vividly to life through cutting-edge graphics and an evocative, specially-composed score.

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