Gadis Sungai

Back in the 1940s, when Malaya was under Japanese occupation, lived two orphans named Rafidah and Ishak. Rafidah, elder sister to Ishak, takes cares of the both of them. However, she hides the truth about their parents' demise from Ishak in order to protect him. Things take a turn when they unknowingly rescue a Chinese lady by the river.

  • Zaid Azman Zainal Aznam
    Continental Malaysia Commercial (2021)
  • Tedrick Chia Sheng Huah
    Sting (2018)
  • Amir Nurrahim B. Karmin
    Batu Layar Documentary (2017)
  • Amanda Balqis Azman
    Key Cast
    Oh My English, Level Up!
  • Tan Yok Yeah (Angeline Tan)
    Key Cast
    Netflix - The Ghost Bride (2020)
  • Nik Hadiff Dani
    Key Cast
    HBO Toyol (2019)
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 3, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Ursa Mini 4.6K G2
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Panggong Punggok 2020
    November 22, 2019
    Independant Mini Film Festival
    Official Selection
Distribution Information
  • Con Plato Films
    Country: Malaysia
    Rights: Video / Disc
Director Biography - Zaid Azman Zainal Aznam

1994 Film Junkie, and a passionate, young aspiring filmmaker who knows no limit to learning and gaining experience in all aspects of the art of film-making.

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Director Statement

5 years ago, I had this conversation with my mother about my grandmother how her life back then when under Japanese occupation. The element of hardship combining with my mother's stories and my grandmother's when they at a young age. I found that I’m descended from a very poor family since the Japanese Occupation before we achieved Merdeka. I can say that my parents are the ones who pulled me off from a poor to a middle-class family. Back then, despite racial and blurry understanding among our previous communities, they were all live together helping each other out when we having the same obstacles and same goals before Merdeka. There are always casualties if war ignited, however, the living goes on and we proceed towards an unknown future. Merdeka was meant for the living to keep moving on.

Most of my works were inspired by Isao Takahata and Ken Loach. But what I want to do in this film is to highlight some perspective of how our forefathers survive back then. We have always been feeding an insight of how terror the Japanese back then, like a ghost. Regardless of race or gender, surviving and caring for each other is what kept them going to face adversity.

In this film my aim for the audience is they get into the world of survival which 2 siblings led by a teenage sister who learns everything about harvesting and surviving left by their parents as their parents didn’t make it long enough under Japanese Occupation. I want the audience to feel the depth of how hard their lives were and the survival of 2 siblings with the house isolated from the villagers by the rivers. As the needless of surviving this teenage girl had to disguise as a boy to provide resources for her family. She does what she had to do, survive.

Zaid Azman (2020)