Garin Nugroho

Garin Nugroho – Opera Jawa AKA Requiem from Java [+Extras] (2006)

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Synopsis:
Siti (Artika Sari Devi) and Setio (Martinus Miroto) are a married couple living in a small village. They were once dancers in plays depicting the Ramayana, but have since retired from the stage to sell earthenware pottery.

Siti used to play the part of Sita, the wife of Prince Rama, whom Setio portrayed. In an episode from the Ramayana, Siti becomes the object of desire of evil King Ravana and is abducted by him.

The events of the Ramayana are paralleled in the characters’ real lives when Ludiro (Eko Supriyanto), a butcher who rules over all the village’s business affairs, tries to seduce Siti. Read More »

Garin Nugroho – Puisi tak terkuburkan AKA Unconcealed Poetry (2000)

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Timely in terms of current Indonesian politics but in other respects long overdue, Nugroho’s extraordinary film looks back to 1965, when the assassination of seven army officers was unconvincingly pinned on communists—giving the dictator Suharto all the excuse he needed for decades of authoritarian rule and arbitrary arrests. There were mass arrests and executions in Aceh, then as now considered Indonesia’s most fractious province. One lucky survivor was the poet Ibrahim Kadir. Nugroho invites Kadir (now 56) to perform some of the didong narrative poems he has written in the intervening years, amid a recreation of events in the Takengon Prison. The film focuses on cells 7 (for men) and 8 (for women); the inmates keep their spirits up with songs, stories of local courtships and tales of government stupidity. More elegiac than angry, the film is presented—very poetically—as a slow transition from monochrome to delicate colour. Read More »

Garin Nugroho – Opera Jawa aka Requiem from Java [+Extras] (2006)

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Quote:

Inspired by ‘The Abduction of Sita’ from the ancient Indian and South East-Asian literary classic The Ramayana, OPERA JAWA is a unique musical tale of love, lust and tragedy. Setio and his wife Siti, own a pottery business in a small village ran by Ludiro, a powerful and ruthless businessman. Ludiro, who is in love with Siti, seizes his chance when the couple’s business collapses. He abducts and tries to seduce Siti. The two men fight and inevitably jealousy spills over into violence and tragedy. Read More »