The problem with ‘Kartini’ and film audiences

On 21st of May, Hanung Bramantyo’s Kartini premiered during Melbourne’s ACMI theatre, where a infancy of assembly members who showed adult were, not surprisingly, Indonesians. From immature university students wearing backpacks, to comparison women who came ornate in intricately sewn kebayas, it was a full house.

After a film ended, a tiny room boomed with vehement whispers and contention among a youngsters, all of that were along a lines of:

“Thank God we don’t have to go by that anymore!”

“Geez, if it wasn’t for Kartini, we wouldn’t have been means to investigate here.”

“My goodness, suppose if we still had to bootlick on a building wearing that parsimonious sarong!”

“Reza Rahadian is soooo gorgeous!”

Read also: Kartini, over her famous letters

Well, we get a gist. These discussions, and immature people’s reactions to a film were, to me, ridiculous and disappointing. It angers me, since these reactions uncover how audiences are totally blank a indicate of a film. The significance of story and autobiography films like Kartini is not for people to demeanour behind on how distant Indonesia has left and feel good about how they’re vital in a 21st century or, God forbid, consider about how desirable Reza Rahadian sounded with a Javanese accent. A chronological film’s impact, no matter how good made, will always stay as small party if we consider about it as only something that happened in a past, and will substantially never occur again.

One of my story professors used to contend that a significance of study story is so that people don’t make a same mistakes again. It’s a approach for us to simulate on past failures and be improved versed when coming a future. He pronounced that therefore, a many critical doubt we should ask while study story is not “Why did that happen?” though “How do we go from here?”

Kartini is a film set in a distinguished credentials of chronological Javanese multitude filled with themes of women’s subordination, miss of leisure and consistent pang from polygamy. Sure, this story was set a prolonged time ago, though if we simulate on a benefaction time, how many of these “bad habits” has a multitude unequivocally let go?

Read also: Feminism in Indonesia underneath encircle by Muslim conservatives

The fact is, Indonesia still needs women like Kartini, some-more than ever. While women are not sealed adult in their bedrooms anymore after removing their initial period, we are still sealed adult in terms of a place in society. Just since women are means to go to propagandize and work now, does not meant that women are no longer subjected to oppression.

On average, Indonesian women still acquire 42 percent less than their masculine counterparts. The overpower on domestic assault in Indonesia is still deafening. Every singular day, there are immature girls in Indonesia who are forced to marry group twice, thrice, or even 4 times their age. And let’s not forget that some-more than 90 percent of rape cases in a nation still go unreported. So, in light of all this, is it unequivocally excellent for us to only say, “Thank God we don’t have to wear parsimonious sarongs anymore”?

The problem with Kartini lies not in a chronological correctness of a film, or a small misses and flaws in a evocation. The problem lies in a approach that we, as audiences, select to know a film. Kartini is a film about a good lady who did unusual things to commission and urge women’s purpose in society.

But her quarrel shouldn’t stop there.

With a slow smell of hardship left in a contemporary society, maybe it’s time for Indonesia to finally ask: How do we go from here?

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Disclaimer: The opinions voiced in this essay are those of a author and do not simulate a central position of The Jakarta Post.

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