The Chinese are the only pork-eaters in Muslim Indonesia. They’re also the default scapegoats when anything goes wrong socially, politically or economically. Edwin, director of brilliant shorts, devotes his debut feature to the Chinese-Indonesian experience in all its contradictions.
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This film, along with The Act of Killing, as part of an emerging picture of life in Indonesia. This movie is shot through with implicit horror and rage. "I Just Called to Say I Love You" is now a nightmare soundtrack.
Art house cinema that elevates sensitivity, family disharmony traumatic, acute racism, minorities hostage, put the '98 tragedy that so threatens the development of oneself, which can not be denied is a very scary reality. Interestingly this is the Indonesian cinema I most warmly welcome.
I would call this not-uninteresting hodgepodge belligerent and unforgiving if not for the fact that it routinely steps way back from its overstepping and almost seems to apologize. It apologizes for its ugliness (which it throws itself at willy-nilly, generally to losing effect) w/ its adorability (which it occasionally nails, not entirely to its credit). The thing feels fresh, but some of the ideas are very poor.