• Garin Nugroho, Still opera Jawa © SET Film Production and New Crown Hope
  • Garin Nugroho, Still opera Jawa © SET Film Production and New Crown Hope
  • Rainbow Troops, syahdan and lintang © Miles Films and Mizan Productions
  • Rainbow Troops, ikal riding bike with lintang © Miles Films and Mizan Productions
  • The Dreamer, Ikal & Arai running away from Mr. Mustar © Miles Films and Mizan Productions
  • Lovely man © Iyas Lawrence

Contemporary Indonesian Cinema


Curator Nan Achnas
Assistant Curator Meninaputri Wismurti

When Suharto was ousted from power in 1998, an era of reform commenced with promises of freedom of expression and creativity. Indonesian cinema entered a phase of transition, trying to find its way amidst the socio-economic and political upheavals of the past.  

Due to the Asian economic crisis in 1997, only a handful of Indonesian films were produced at that time, such as Kuldesak (1998), Leaf on the Pillow (1998), Sri (1999) and Telegram (1999). The declaration of the reformist movement fuelled hopes for an end to the country’s political and economic difficulties. It also ushered in an infusion of cultural creativity in local filmmaking. New talents and innovative projects formed a solid foundation for the country’s burgeoning film industry. 

Alongside the rise of mainstream cinema, such as the revival of the silat (martial arts) genre with films like The Raid (2011), art house filmmakers such as Garin Nugroho, Riri Riza, Edwin and Mouly Surya and others also garnered worldwide interest, with films such as What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love and Postcards from the Zoo.

Several major trends have made an appearance in the reformist movement. One is the awakening of consciousness in the people, the restoration of faith in humanity and in the values that had been alienated by authoritarian rule. A specific genre that arose from these concerns are films about religious life in Indonesia such as Pesantren: 3 Wishes 3 Loves (2008) and ? (2011). 

INDONESIAN FILM FESTIVAL - 09 01 ‘18 > 23 01 ‘18 

In January 2018, Vendôme (Brussels) welcomes a large retrospective of Indonesian cinema from the last twenty years, with no fewer than 51 films and 10 guests. The opening film will be screened at BOZAR in the presence of director Garin Nugroho.