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Cinema of Indonesia (Post-Colonialism)

by Rio Johan
Cinema of Indonesia (Post-Colonialism) by Rio Johan
====================================================================================================================== THE HISTORY This article is a continuation from: Early Cinema Such political atmosphere increased the natives’ consciousness in viewing films not only as a product of entertainment and industry, but also as a medium for struggle and battle. Movement leaders like Dr. Adnan K. Gani then came to the battleground. But because more and more film production receded, the activities of activists more concerned around the political strategy. It is Usmar Ismail, along with Djajus Siagian and D Djajakusuma, who turn the film… Read more



This article is a continuation from: Early Cinema

Such political atmosphere increased the natives’ consciousness in viewing films not only as a product of entertainment and industry, but also as a medium for struggle and battle. Movement leaders like Dr. Adnan K. Gani then came to the battleground. But because more and more film production receded, the activities of activists more concerned around the political strategy. It is Usmar Ismail, along with Djajus Siagian and D Djajakusuma, who turn the film discussion clubs, and pioneering film school in Yogya. Sadly, by only a few months,it was covered by the Japanese Military Government for being the source of unrest. At this time, a poem titled Tjitra was made by Usmar Ismail, which later turned into a song by Cornel Simanjuntak. Both the poem and the song published in the magazine qualify for Java Baroe (1-15 December 1943). Later in 1946, Tjitra was filmed by Usmar Ismail.

Political climate changed when the Japanese began to pressed around, until the time of revolution which gave birth to a country named the Republic of Indonesia (August 17, 1945). In just a matter of days, range of motion initiated by emerging artists, not only in Java but also in Sumatra. Mostly through group play. Usmar Ismail, Cornel Simanjuntak, Djajakusumah, Soerjosumanto, and others, founded the artists association “Merdeka.” They mastered the Cultural Center, traveled to enlighten the people, even participate in the battlefield. In West Sumatra, Sjamsoeddin Syafei led the “Ratu Asia” group. Meanwhile, the Japanese films studio Nippon Sha Eigha seized by force by native groups under the leadership of RM Soetarto. It was the birth of Berita Film Indonesia (BFI).

In Yogyakarta, 1946 (city of refugee during the war of the revolution) a films school called Cine Drama Institute (CDI) pioneered, among others, by Djamaluddin Malik and Mr. Soedjarwo. Then came the KDA film school which was pioneered by Huyung, Sri Murtono, Trisno Soemardjo, Kusbini, and others, which became part of the “Stichting Hiburan Mataram” (Mataram Stichting Entertainment) that later made films such as Antara Bumi dan Langit (Beetwen Earth and Sky, 1950).

When returning to Jakarta, Usmar Ismail, a reporter for Covering Indonesian-Dutch negotiations on board the Renville (1948), in fact arrested by the Dutch for being caught off all the mission that he was doing. He was free in 1949. Out of custody, Usmar Ismail formed Perusahaan Film Nasional Indonesia (PERFINI—Indonesian National Film Company), and together with Djamaluddin Malik formed Perseroan Film Indonesia (PERSARI—Indonesian Artist Company). From this point, Usmar Ismail made a film Darah dan Doa (The Long March). The first day of its filming, March 30, 1950, to then celebrated as the birthday of Indonesian Cinema.

At subsequent periods, idealistic spirit that encapsulates the struggle of a national identity, educating society, and industrial nationalism growth in national film industry. Systems and infrastructure took shape. But on the field, coming out films were poor and low quality. Chinese producers that rose from oppression, intensively only making “for-fun” film which would sell easily on the market. They also brought in films from the Philippines, Malaysia, and India—who then mastering the local film market. Dr. Huyung (Enatsu Heitaro) started shouting the need for Film Act. At that time the government involvement with film industry only by the Film Censorship Board. Public and the press getting irritated, cheap films dominated the market, while better quality films had no place to stay.

That situation encouraged Djamaluddin Malik and Usmar Ismail to formed Gabungan Produser Film Indonesia (Indonesian Film Producer Group) in 1954, later became the Perserikatan Producers Film Indonesia (Union of Indonesian Film Producer), then later became the Persatuan Perusahaan Film Indonesia (PPFI—Union of Indonesian Film Company). In 1955, Festival Film Indonesia, or often called Citra Awards (an equivalent to Oscar in Indonesia), was held for the first time. The result was controversy, because the Best Picture fell to Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew, Usmar Ismail), but Lilik Soedjio got Best Director with Tarmina. While the Best Actor and Actress respectively two, which went on both films: An Alcaff and Abd Hadi, Dhalia and Fifi Young.

In 1956, film journalists founded the Persatuan Pers Film Indonesia (PERFEPI—Union of Indonesian Film Press), while Soerjosoemanto pioneered the founding of the Persatuan Artis Film Indonesia (PARFI—Union of Indonesian Film Actor and Actress). Through this film organizations, actions against the dominance of imported films could be carried out (Philippines, Malaysia, India). PPFI closed studio films. The communists accused Usmar Ismail and Djamaluddin Malik (political leader board NU) was making a wrong act, stating the cause of the decline of Indonesian films are Hollywood products (which controls the movie theater on board).

Disagreement sharpen among the film political background, mostly between communist and non-communists. It was effected on the failure of FFI celebration in 1957, 1958, 1959. Moreover, Djamaluddin Malik taken under house arrest in a political case. Once free, at 1960, he held the the 2nd FFI. The Best Film category taken by Turang, which also swapped Best Director award for Bachtiar Siagian, who happened to be a communist. On the Festival Asia (Tokyo), Turang failed to take any award, instead Suzanna (Asrama dara—directed by Usmar Ismail) won the Child Best Actress category.

Continued at: Golden Age



Usmar Ismail

Tjitra (1949)
Harta Karun (1949)
Darah dan Doa (1950)
Dosa Tak Berampun (1951)
Enam Djam di Djogdja (1951)
Kafedo (1953)
Krisis (1953)
Lewat Djam Malam (1954)
Lagi-lagi Krisis (Crisis Again, 1955)
Tamu Agung (1955)
Tiga Dara (1956)
Delapan Pendjuru Angin (1957)
Sengketa (1957)
Asrama Dara (1958)
Laruik Sandjo (1960)
Pedjuang (1960)
Amor dan Humor (1961)
Korban Fitnah (1961)
Toha, Pahlawan Bandung Selatan (1961)
Anak Perawan Di Sarang Penjamun (1962)
Bajangan Diwaktu Fadjar (1962)
Masa Topan dan Badai (1963)
Anak-anak Revolusi (1964)
Liburan Seniman (1965)
Ja Mualim (1968)
Big Village (1969)
Bali (1970)
Ananda (1970)

Misbach Jusa Biran

Pesta Musik La Bana (1960)
Holiday in Bali (1962)
Bintang Ketjil (1963)
Panggilan Nabi Ibrahim (1964)
Apa jang Kautangisi (1965)
Dibalik Tjahaja Gemerlapan (1966)
Menjusuri Djedjak Berdarah (1967)
Operasi X (1968)

Bachtiar Siagian

Kabut Desember (1955)
Tjorak Dunia (1955)
Melati Sendja (1956)
Daerah Hilang (1956)
Turang (1957)
Sekedjap Mata (1959)
Piso Surit (1960)
Badja Membara (Nila Meulila) (1961)
Notaris Sulami (1961)
Violetta (1962)
Kami Bangun Hari Esok (1963)
Njanjian Dilereng Dieng (1964)

D Djajakusuma

Embun (1951)
Terimalah Laguku (1952)
Harimau Tjampa (1953)
Mertua Sinting (1954)
Putri dari Medan (1954)
Arni (1955)
Tjambuk Api (1958)
Lahirnja Gatotkatja (1960)
Mak Tjomblang (1960)
Masa Topan dan Badai (1963)
Rimba Bergema (1964)

Other Directors
Saputangan (Fred Young, 1949)
Harumanis (Fred Young, 1950)
Bintang Surabaja 1951 (Fred Young, 1950)
Djembatan Merah (Fred Young, 1950)
Ratapan Ibu (Fred Young, 1950)
Damarwulan (Fred Young, 1950)
Ratapan Ibu (Fred Young, 1950)
Antara Tertawa dan Airmata (Fred Young, 1951)
Chandra Dewi (Fred Young, 1952)
Ditepi Bengawan Solo (Fred Young, 1951)
Aneka Warna (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1949)
Menanti Kasih (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1949)
Inspektur Rachman (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1950)
Pantai Bahagia (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1950)
Untuk Sang Merah-Putih (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1950)
Bakti Bahagia (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1951)
Dunia Gila (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1951)
Surjani Mulia (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1951)
Pahlawan (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1951)
Rumah Hantu (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1951)
Guga Guli (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1953)
Kemajoran (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1953)
Srigala Topeng Hitam (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1953)
Djaja Merana (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1954)
Sungai Darah (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1954)
Tengah Malam (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1954)
Sampah (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1955)
Saidjah Putri Pantai (Mohammad Said Hamid Junid, 1956)
Sedap Malam (Ratna Asmara, 1950)
Musim Bunga di Selabintana (Ratna Asmara, 1951)
Dr Samsi (Ratna Asmara, 1952)
Nelajan (Ratna Asmara, 1953)
Dewi dan Pemilihan Umum (Ratna Asmara, 1954)
Antara Bumi dan Langit (Hinatsu Heitaro, 1950)
Gadis Olahraga (Hinatsu Heitaro, 1951)
Kenangan Masa (Hinatsu Heitaro, 1951)
Kenangan Masa (Hinatsu Heitaro, 1951)
Bunga Rumah Makan (Hinatsu Heitaro, 1951)
Rindu (Rempo Urip, 1951)
Rodrigo de Villa (Rempo Urip, 1952)
Asam Digunung Garam Dilaut (Rempo Urip, 1953)
Leilani (Tabu) (Rempo Urip, 1953)
Bintang Baru (Rempo Urip, 1954)
Air Pasang (Rempo Urip, 1954)
Pegawai Tinggi (Rempo Urip, 1954)
Siapa Ajahku (Rempo Urip, 1954)
Supir Istimewa (Rempo Urip, 1954)
Hadiah 10.000 (Rempo Urip, 1955)
Tjalon Duta (Rempo Urip, 1955)
Harta Angker (Rempo Urip, 1956)
Karlina Marlina (Rempo Urip, 1957)
Sendja Indah (Rempo Urip, 1957)
Ibu Mertua (Rempo Urip, 1960)
Satu Budjang Lima Dara (Rempo Urip, 1960)
Menudju Bintang (Rempo Urip, 1960)
Asmara dan Wanita (Rempo Urip, 1961)
Marunda (Ali Yugo, 1951)
Penganten Baru (Ali Yugo, 1951)
Sepandjang Malioboro (H Asby, 1951)
Musim Bunga di Selabintana (Ratna Asmara, 1951)
Akibat (Nawi Ismail, 1951)
Bunga Bangsa (Nawi Ismail, 1951)
Solo Di Waktu Malam (Nawi Ismail, 1952)
Neng Yatimah (Nawi Ismail, 1953)
Tunggal (Nawi Ismail, 1953)
Tjuriga (Nawi Ismail, 1954)
Pilihlah Aku (Nawi Ismail, 1956)
Salah Pilih (Nawi Ismail, 1956)
Tjatut (Nawi Ismail, 1956)
Serodja (Nawi Ismail, 1958)
Gembira Ria (Nawi Ismail, 1959)
Berabe (Nawi Ismail, 1960)
Karena Daster (Nawi Ismail, 1961)
Panon Hideung (Nawi Ismail, 1961)
Marina (Nawi Ismail, 1961)
KM – 49 (M Arief, 1952)
Lenggang Djakarta (M Arief, 1953)
Perkasa Alam (M Arief, 1954)
Bandar Djakarta (M Arief, 1955)
Kisah Pelawak (M Arief, 1961)
Siapa Dia (Tan Sing Hwat, 1952)
Bermain dengan Api (Tan Sing Hwat, 1952)
Bawang Merah Bawang Putih (Tan Sing Hwat, 1953)
Rahasia Sukudomas (Tan Sing Hwat, 1954)
Sri Asih (Tan Sing Hwat, 1954)
Gambang Semarang (Tan Sing Hwat, 1955)
Taman Harapan (Tan Sing Hwat, 1957)
Kunanti di Djogja (Tan Sing Hwat, 1958)
Dilereng Gunung Kawi (Tan Sing Hwat, 1961)
Dunia Gila (Lilik Sudjio, 1951)
Tarmina (Lilik Sudjio, 1954)
Kekasih Ajah (Lilik Sudjio, 1955)
Kasih dan Tjinta (Lilik Sudjio, 1956)
Anakku Sajang (Lilik Sudjio, 1957)
Darah Tinggi (Lilik Sudjio, 1960)
Sengsara (Aboebakar Djoenaedi, 1955)
Bertjerai Kasih (Aboebakar Djoenaedi, 1956)
Lagak Internasional (Jazir Marzuki, 1955)
Buruh Bengkel (Awaludin, 1956)
Kalung Mutiara (Awaludin, 1960)
Nelajan dari Pantai Seberang (Awaludin, 1961)
Buruh Pelabuhan (Awaludin, 1965)
Piso Komando (Awaludin, 1967)
Pradjurit Teladan (Unknown, 1959)
Saodah (Nurdin Sjam, 1956)
Heboh (Nya Abbas Akup, 1954)
Tiga Buronan (Nya Abbas Akup, 1957)
Djendral Kantjil (Nya Abbas Akup, 1958)
Iseng (Turino Djunaidy, 1959)
Kamar 13 (Basuki Effendi, 1961)
Memburu Menantu (Agus Muljono, 1961)
Titian Serambut Dibelah Tudjuh (1959)
Pilihan Hati (Asrul Sani, 1964)
Pagar Kawat Berduri (Asrul Sani, 1961)
Tauhid (Asrul Sani, 1964)
Fadjar Menjingsing Dipermukaan Laut (Asrul Sani, 1966)
Bing Slamet Merantau (Ridwan Nasution, 1962)


A.N. Alcaff and Fifi Young, notable actor and actress.

Tarmina (1954)

Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew, 1950)

Enam Djam di Djogja (Six Hours in Djogja,1951)

Tiga Dara (Girl’s Dormitory, 1956)


If you interested in streaming the film on YouTube:
Darah dan Doa (no subtitle)
Enam Djam di Djogja (no subtitle)
Harimau Tjampa (subtitled, but the files seemed to be incomplete)

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