Indonesia in Cinema

Travels and Travails: Cosmopolitan Muslims in Indonesian Cinema

What happens when Indonesian Muslim characters are placed in non-Muslim countries and must engage in struggles over their faith? A recent trend in Islamic feature films sees the main protagonist(s) travel overseas to a non-Muslim country. How the characters negotiate the cultural differences reveals clues as to the emerging identity and politics of the Muslim middle class.... Read More

When East Meets West: American and Chinese Influences on Early Indonesian Action Cinema

Action movies are closely related to Indonesian cinema history, since the first Indonesian feature film ever, Loeteong Kasaroeng (Enchanted Monkey) produced, was an action-orientated fantasy spectacle. It was followed by many martial arts movies during the late 1920s and 1930s. Every drama had at least one fighting sequence to entertain the audience.... Read More

What It Means to Be Indonesian After Beatriz’s War

What does it mean to be French after seeing Battle of Algiers (1965)? Or American after watching Season of the Whirlwind (1978) from Vietnam? Or Dutch after viewing Usmar Ismail’s Darah dan Doa (1950)? Before the Timor invasion and occupation, we, as a formerly colonized people, may have conveniently asked such questions. Today, we’re privileged to have a similar question put to us: what does it mean to be an Indonesian after seeing Beatriz’s War?... Read More

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