Ibu Mertuaku (My Mother-in-Law) is a 1962 Malaysian film directed by and starring Malaysia silver-screen legend P.Ramlee . The film's story revolves around the tragic love affair between Kassim Selamat, a poor musician, and Sabariah, the only daughter of a wealthy woman. The movie is notable in that the opening act starts out as a light-hearted romantic comedy, but at the 30 minute mark turns into a dramatic tragedy.
Like a number of P.Ramlee's works, the film criticizes the unofficial caste system that separates the wealthy from the poor. This film is considered a Malaysian classic, and is remembered for the song "Where Can I Find Another'' (Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti) and The Screams of my Soul (Jeritan Batinku) famous eye-stabbing scene during the film's climax.
Set in 1960s Singapore, Sabariah Mansoor is a young woman who is fascinated with the music of Kassim Selamat, a small-time musician with great talent playing the saxophone. After one of his radio performances, Sabariah calls in to the studio to talk to him personally and express her admiration. They arrange to meet and it is love at first sight.
Sabariah's wealthy widowed mother Nyonya Mansoor wants Sabriah to marry Dr. Ismadi, an eye doctor, and is shocked when Sabariah tells her that she wants to marry Kassim Selamat. Nyonya Mansoor tells Sabariah that if she chooses Kassim, she will forfeit all her family's wealth and can never set foot in their house again. Sabariah still chooses Kassim, so Nyonya Mansoor arranges a quick a marriage ceremony for the pair, after which she gives them 5000 ringgit and casts them out of the house.
Kassim and Sabariah move to Penang to start a new life. They are happy for a while, but soon all their money is used up and they have to live as paupers. Kassim wants to make money performing music, but Sabariah is against the idea as she thinks that she can make amends with her mother if Kassim renounces music forever. Kassim is forced to work as a labourer.
One day Kassim returns to their lowly home to see Sabariah crying in the arms of her mother. Nyonya Mansoor says that she would like to take Sabariah back to Singapore and care for her until she has given birth to the child she is pregnant with. Kassim lets Sabariah go, believing that she will return to him.
Months pass, during which Sabariah is cared for in comfort and under the wing of Nonya Mansoor and Dr. Ismadi. She eventually gives birth to a baby boy who is named Tajudin. At this time, Kassim receives a telegram from Nyonya Mansoor saying that Sabariah died during childbirth. Kassim falls into depression, crying for days without end and refusing to work. Unknown to him, Sabariah is alive and waiting for him in Singapore. Nyonya Mansoor's fake telegram was part of her plan to separate the pair.
Sabariah eventually divorces Kassim, believing that he abandoned her and their child. She also agrees to marry Dr. Ismadi. Sabariah and Dr. Ismadi agree to keep the identity of Tajudin's birth father a secret from everyone, including Tajudin himself.
During this time, Kassim's endless crying has rendered him completely blind. He cannot pay the rent, and he is sent out into the street, blind and wandering aimlessly. Kassim is eventually found by Mummy, a kind middle-aged woman who takes him into her home. Kassim then meets Mummy's daughter, Chombi, who has just recently lost her husband. The pair find friendship as they mourn their respective loved ones.
Kassim eventually reveals his talent with the saxophone, and after being encouraged by Mummy and Chombi, starts a new career in music using the stage name "Osman Jailani". Kassim, under the guise of Osman Jailani, becomes a hit and starts touring around all over malaya. He eventually arrives in Singapore, where Sabariah and her new husband Dr. Ismadi decide to attend his performance.
When Sabariah sees her former husband, now blind, performing on stage, she is overcome with sadness. She asks her new husband to fix Kassim's eyes without charge. The operation is a success, and Kassim, Mummy and Chombi are all invited to stay at Dr. Ismadi's home with Sabariah and son while Kassim recovers. When Kassim's eye bandages are removed and he sees Sabariah at Dr. Ismadi's side, he has a moment of panic. Dr. Ismadi says that she cannot possibly be his dead wife but just a look-a-like, which Kassim reluctantly accepts.
Kassim goes to Nyonya Mansoor's house, asking her for permission to see his son. Nyonya Mansoor tells him that she gave the boy away, so Kassim begs her to let him at least see Sabariah's grave. Nyonya Mansoor takes him to a grave, but when he realises that it's not Sabariah's grave, he realises the truth and curses Nyonya Mansoor for her evildoing.
Kassim returns to Dr. Ismadi's house where he confronts them with the truth just before entering his room and locking the door. Dr. Ismadi, Nyonya Mansoor and Sabariah beat at his locked door, begging for forgiveness. Kassim ignores them, and takes a pair of forks which he uses to pierce his eyes. Kassim then finally opens the door, once again blind and with streaks of blood flowing from his eyes. Nyonya Mansoor collapses when she sees him.
Kassim wanders out of the house until he bumps into Chombi, who is shocked to see his condition. He asks her to take him back to Penang with her, and they go, leaving Sabariah crying as she watches Kassim leave and Dr. Ismadi looking at his tearful wife pensively. Wikipedia
- P.Ramlee as Kassim Selamat
- Sarimah as Sabariah
- Mak Dara as Nyonya Mansoor
- Ahmad Mahmud as Doktor Ismadi
- Ahmad Nisfu as 'Mamak' Mahyudin Zani
- Zainon Fiji as Mummy
- Zaiton Abdullah as Chombi
Awards : 10th Asia Pacific Film Festival 1963
- Best Black & White Photography
- Special Award - Most Versatile Talent
Instrumental - Jeritan Batinku
Full Song - Jeritan Batinku
Download : Jeritan Batinku (The Screams of my Soul), Di Mana Kan Ku Cari Ganti (Where Can I Find Another) , Jangan Tinggal Daku (Don't Leave Me)