I Want To Live (Aku Mahu Hidup) (1970)

  • February 22, 2020 | 4:00 PM - 5:40 PM | Saturday
  • Oldham Theatre


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3 tickets: $20 || 5 tickets: $30
(U.P. $10 per ticket)

The bundle ticket packages are available for purchase only at Oldham Theatre’s Box Office. The box office will be open one hour before the earliest showtime of the day on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Original title: Aku Mahu Hidup
Directed by: M. Amin
Runtime: 98 min
Country: Singapore
Language: Malay with English subtitles
Rating: PG
Restored Version

Rahimah is forced into prostitution by her stepfather. While she solicits at a bar, it is raided by the police. But Rahimah is able to escape thanks to Nor, a sympathetic policeman who takes her into his home. A romance soon blossoms between them, and they begin to yearn for a new life together. However, Rahimah is haunted by her past, and she lives in fear of her stepfather catching up to them.


Archivist Notes

Aku Mahu Hidup was made at the end of the studio era and was one of the last films produced by Cathay-Keris before the studio ceased film production in 1972. The film’s screenplay was written by Rajendra Gour, a pioneer of early independent short filmmaking in Singapore. The filmmakers’ adoption of the then-controversial subject matter of prostitution, and their sensitive treatment of how it was perceived at the time, evinces the progressive social consciousness of 1970s Malay cinema. As well, the narrative’s focus on its heroine’s desire for respectability may be read as demonstrating a feminist concern regarding women’s access to civil society. Indeed, this subject would become a recurring theme of Gour’s short films in the 1970s, which frequently addressed the question of women’s role in the family and in society.


Restoration Info

The restoration of Aku Mahu Hidup was made possible using the sole surviving 16mm release print from the Asian Film Archive’s Cathay-Keris Malay Classics Collection. The print displayed numerous deep scratches on the emulsion and base of the material. Many of the splices made with tape and cement had deteriorated and had to be repaired to smoothen the process of digitisation. Perforations, broken frames, damages from folding, as well as missing and torn modulations, were also discovered during the process.

To digitally restore the film, 300 hours were spent on restoration work that included scratch removal, stabilising, deflickering, and colour correction. Sound waves from the print were barely visible, and additional audio processing, including noise, click and hum removal, had to be carried out in order to achieve a better auditory experience.

The film was scanned at 4K and restored in 2K resolution by IMAGICA Lab in 2018 and completed in 2019.

If you have any trouble purchasing your tickets, please contact us at info@asianfilmarchive.org 

*Concession tickets apply to Students (Local & Overseas), Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), Senior Citizens (55 years and above) only.
*Please check film ratings before purchase of tickets. Please note that you may be asked to present your ID at the door (this applies to concession tickets as well).