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Cinema of Indonesia (Golden Age)

by Rio Johan
Cinema of Indonesia (Golden Age) by Rio Johan
====================================================================================================================== Indonesian film industry reached its peak in the 1980s, with such successful films as Naga Bonar (1987) and Catatan Si Boy (1989). Warkop’s comedy films, directed by Arizal also proved to be successful. The industry has also found appeal among teens with such fare as Pintar-pintar Bodoh (1982), and Maju Kena Mundur Kena (1984). Actors during this era included Deddy Mizwar, Eva Arnaz, Lidya Kandou, Onky Alexander, Meriam Bellina, Rano Karno, and Paramitha Rusady. However, by the 1990s imports of foreign films resumed, and… Read more


Indonesian film industry reached its peak in the 1980s, with such successful films as Naga Bonar (1987) and Catatan Si Boy (1989). Warkop’s comedy films, directed by Arizal also proved to be successful. The industry has also found appeal among teens with such fare as Pintar-pintar Bodoh (1982), and Maju Kena Mundur Kena (1984). Actors during this era included Deddy Mizwar, Eva Arnaz, Lidya Kandou, Onky Alexander, Meriam Bellina, Rano Karno, and Paramitha Rusady.

However, by the 1990s imports of foreign films resumed, and the artistic quality of Indonesian films was reduced due to competition, especially from the US and Hong Kong. The number of movies produced decreased significantly, from 115 movies in 1990 to just 37 in 1993. Rampant counterfeiting and television also contributed to the degradation of Indonesian cinema. In decade, Indonesian cinema dominated by serial electronic cinema (sinetron). Multivision Plus under Raam Punjabi, controlled one of many cinema companies who produced sinetron. The majority of films produced were exploitive, adult-themed B-movies shown in budget cinemas and outdoor screenings or direct-to-video or television. In 1996, 33 films were made in Indonesia, with majority of the films produced were filled with adult-themed content, and later on decreased significantly. only seven domestic films were made in 1999.


This article is a continuation from: Post-Colonialism

Things that can be learned from this history is that the press, politics, and creativity are the three main pillars in the life and development of Indonesia film industry. At a time when many of us today can get more better education and experience from around the world, somewhat surprisingly, cinema rights are being claimed by narrow minded interests with vulgar movement and understanding.

1960 to 1966 was a period when political struggles take part on arts and cultural movements, including the national film industry. After took part in a more friendly zone, among them Tiga Dara, Perfini made Pedjoeang, a films that delivered Bambang Hermanto as a Best Actor at Moscow Festival (1961). In 1962, Djamaluddin Malik and Usmar Ismail Malik cooperated witth Philippines, made Holiday in Bali, which was the first Indonesian color film. Continued by cooperation with Singapore to made Bajangan di Waktoe Fadjar. Heated political situation was not much encouraging the development of national film. But politically the government embraced the film by formating Direktorat Film/Departemen Penerangan (Directorate of Film/Ministry of Information). One of its officials was Sjuman Djaya, graduate of the Moscow Academy of Cinematography—1965. Dewan Produksi Film Nasional (DPFN—National Production Film Board), which produces a number of model films, was formed not long after that. Most prominent model was Apa Jang Kau Tjari Paloepi (What Are You Looking For Paloepi, Asrul Sani, 1969). At 1970 Apa Jang Kau Tjari Paloepi became the Asian Film Festival Best Film, the first Indonesian film that received awards at international festivals.

1967 Syuman Djaya, who acted as government officials as well as filmmakers, encouraged the implementation of Pekan Apresiasi Film (Film Appreciation Week). It is then regarded as the 3rd FFI. No Best Picture. As for Best Director went to Misbach Yusa Biran (Dibalik Tjahaja Gemerlapan)

In 1970, the journalist through PWI Jaya Seksi Film, spearheaded by Rosihan Anwar, Harmoko, and Zulharman, held a festival titled Pemilihan Best Actor/Actress (Selection Best Actor/Actress). Held until the second year running. At the third year (1973), it was collided with FFI, which was held by Yayasan Film Indonesia (YFI—Foundation for Film Indonesia), led by Turino Djunaedi. Two versions of this festival lasted until 1975, until finally the version PWI Jaya Seksi Film forced to integrated with the FFI by the government. As a consequence elements, PWI became a part of YFI as FFI organizers, right after the festival was officially supported by the government (Ministry of Information). After that FFI held regularly, with the head organizer alternately came from representatives of organizations Film (PPFI, PARFI, KFT, PPFI, GPBSI, GASFI).

Dewan Film Nasional (DFN—The National Film Board) established in 1981. The next year (1982), the organizing of FFI taken by the DFN, under the cope of Ministry of Information. In 1985, an issue of corruption shook the FFI. The DFN and Ministry of Information formed FFI permanent committee for five years tenure in 1987. Until 1992, when then tenure over, it was the last FFI until 12 years later.

Right at that cessation year of FFI was born Law No. 8 of 1992 for film, which is in question today, would be revised, there is even a suggestion revoked. Actually the law had never implemented well.

This history is a good basis of knowledge on how we look at the role and functions of government and censorship. The recent case of FFI had triggered more polemics for film industry—which spreaded up to any other branches of topics—I think: This is the result if we used to develop the community’s enthusiasm which had been entrusted to us (mainly the authorities) with domination, to ignore the history. So perhaps there is no wrong for any filmmakers, and also film workers, who had spread ignorant words and appearances in newspapers and television, to look at ownself in front of the mirror. Who knows there is “shamed” of history.




Teguh Karya

Wadjah Seorang Laki-Laki (1971)
Cinta Pertama (1973)
Ranjang Pengantin (1974)
Kawin Lari (1974)
Perkawinan dalam Semusim (1976)
Badai Pasti Berlalu (1977)
November 1828 (1978)
Usia 18 (1980)
Di Balik Kelambu (1982)
Doea Tanda Mata (1984)
Secangkir Kopi Pahit (1984)
Ibunda (1986)
Pacar Ketinggalan Kereta (1988)

Sjuman Djaya

Lewat Tengah Malam (1971)
Flamboyant (1972)
Si Doel Anak Betawi (1973)
Si Mamad (1973)
Atheis (1974)
Laila Majenun (1975)
Si Doel Anak Modern (1976)
Pinangan (1976)
Yang Muda Yang Bercinta (1977)
Kabut Sutra Ungu (1979)
Bukan Sandiwara (1980)
R.A. Kartini (1982)
Budak Nafsu (Fatima) (1983)
Kerikil-Kerikil Tajam (1984)
Opera Jakarta (1985)

Apa jang Kau Tjari, Palupi? (Asrul Sani, 1969)
Pengantin Remaja (Wim Umboh, 1971)
Perkawinan (Wim Umboh, 1972)
Salah Asuhan (Asrul Sani, 1972)
Intan Berduri (Turino Djunaidy, 1972)
Cintaku di Kampus Biru (Ami Prijono, 1976)
Inem Pelayan Sexy (Nya’ Abbas Akup, 1976)
Gita Cinta dari SMA (Arizal, 1979)
Gadis Penakluk (Eduart Pesta Sirait, 1980)
Perempuan dalam Pasungan (Ismail Soebardjo, 1980)
Perawan Desa (Frank Rorimpandey, 1980)
Serangan Fajar (Arifin C. Noor, 1981)
Pengkhianatan G-30-S PKI (Arifin C. Noor, 1982)
Gadis Marathon (Chaerul Umam, 1981)
Titian Serambut Dibelah Tujuh (Chaerul Umam, 1982)
Kejarlah Daku Kau Kutangkap (Chaerul Umam, 1986)
Naga Bonar (MT Risyaf, 1987)
Cintaku di Rumah Susun (Nya’ Abbas Akup, 1987)
Arini, Masih Ada Kereta yang Akan Lewat (Sophan Sophian, 1987)
Tjoet Nja’ Dhien (Eros Djarot, 1988)
Langitku Rumahku (Selamet Rahardjo,1990)
Taksi (Arifin C. Noor, 1990)
Bibir Mer (Arifin C. Noor, 1991)
Ramadhan dan Ramona (Chaerul Umam, 1992)
Cinta dalam Sepotong Roti (Garin Nugroho, 1992)


Apa jang Kau Tjari, Palupi?, first international award winning film.

Tjoet Nja’ Dhien, first Indonesian film showed in Cannes Film Festival


Some available films on YouTube:

Catatan si Boy (no subtitle)
Cinta Pertama (no subtitle)
Gita Cinta dari SMA (no subtitle)
Intan Berduri (subtitled)
Nagabonar (no subtitle)
RA Kartini (no subtitle)
Secangkir Kopi Pahit (Bitter Coffee, no subtitle)
Si Doel Anak Betawi (no subtitle)
Taksi (Taxi, no subtitle)
Tjoet Njak Dien (no subtitle)

Atas Boleh Bawah Boleh (no subtitle)
Dongkrak Antik (no subtitle)
Godain Kita Dong (no subtitle)
Manusia 6.000.000 Dollar (no subtitle)
Setan Kredit (no subtitle)
Tahu Diri Donk (no subtitle)

Beranak dalam Kubur (no subtitle)
Malam Jumat Kliwon (no subtitle)
Malam Satu Suro (no subtitle)
Nyi Ageng Ratu Pemikat (no subtitle)
Perkawinan Nyi Blorong (no subtitle)
Ratu Buaya Putih (The White Alligator, no subtitle)
Ratu Sakti Calon Arang (no subtitle)
Santet (no subtitle)
Sundel Bolong (Devil Woman, no subtitle)
Telaga Angker (no subtitle)
Titisan Dewi Ular (no subtitle)

Angling Darma 2 Pemberontakan Batik Madrim (no subtitle)
Carok (no subtitle)
Golok Setan (no subtitle)
Jaka Tuak (no subtitle)
Jaka Sembung & Bajing Ireng (no subtitle)
Jampang (no subtitle)
Jurus Dewa Naga (no subtitle)
Kelabang Seribu (no subtitle)
Macho (no subtitle)
Mandala Penakluk Satria Tar-Tar (no subtitle)
Pertarungan Iblis Merah (no subtitle)
Siluman Kera (no subtitle)
Tarzan Penunggu Harta Karun (no subtitle)
Tertembaknya Seorang Residivis (no subtitle)
Yang Perkasa (no subtitle)

Aladin dan Lampu Wasiat (no subtitle)
Apanya Dong (no subtitle)
Bayi Ajaib (no subtitle)
Bangkitnya Si Mata Malaikat (no subtitle)
Betty Bencong Slebor (no subtitle)
Bilur-Bilur Penyesalan (no subtitle)
Boneka dari Indiana (no subtitle)
Bumi Makin Panas (no subtitle, another non-Horror Suzanna’s)
Catatan si Boy II (no subtitle)
Catatan si Boy III (no subtitle)
Catatan si Boy IV (no subtitle)
Catatan si Boy V (no subtitle)
Cintaku di Way Kambas (no subtitle)
Damai Kami Sepanjang Hari (no subtitle)
Darna Ajaib (no subtitle)
Dimana Kau Ibu (no subtitle)
Dukun Lintah (no subtitle)
Dukun Palsu (no subtitle)
Godaan Perempuan Halus (no subtitle)
Gundala Putra Petir (no subtitle)
Ira Maya dan Kak Ateng (no subtitle)
Ira Maya Putri Cinderella (no subtitle)
Isabella (no subtitle)
Kawin Lari (no subtitle)
Lembah Duka (no subtitle, another non-Horror Suzanna’s)
Luka Di Atas Luka (no subtitle)
Lupus IV (no subtitle)
Nini Towok (no subtitle)
Pagar Ayu (no subtitle)
Pasukan Berani Mati (no subtitle)
Pengabdi Setan (no subtitle)
Perawan Metropolitan (no subtitle)
Puspa Indah Taman Hati (no subtitle)
Rama Superman Indonesia (no subtitle)
Ratapan Anak Tiri (no subtitle)
Ratapan Anak Tiri 2 (no subtitle)
Ratu Amplop (no subtitle)
Roman Picisan (no subtitle)
Sama Gilanya (no subtitle)
Samson Betawi (no subtitle)
Semau Gue (no subtitle)
Sangkuriang (no subtitle, again Suzanna’s non-horror film)
Setan Kuburan (no subtitle)
Soerabaia 45 (no subtitle)
Sunan Kali Jaga (no subtitle)
Tak Ingin Sendiri (no subtitle)
Teraktor Benyamin (no subtitle)


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