Special free screening is part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
(Indonesia, 2009) Dir.:Yadi Sugandi; Scr.: Conor Allyn, Rob Allyn; 35mm, 108 min., color, narrative, in Indonesian and Dutch w/ E.S. Starring: Lukman Sardi, Darius Sinathrya, Donny Alamsyah, Zumi Zola, T. Rifnu Wikana, Rahayu Saraswati, Astri Nurdin, Rudy Wowor
The Festival, in association with the Bali Film Center, is proud to host a special free screening of RED AND WHITE (Merah Putih) at the prestigious Directors Guild of America. Boasting the biggest budget in Indonesian film history, the film involved a largely imported below-the-line crew, many from Hollywood. Set against Indonesia’s 1947 struggle for independence during the Van Mook offensive into the heart of republican territory in Central Java, RED AND WHITE tells the story of a fictional band of freedom fighters who bond together as cadets to survive a massacre. The cadets come from diverse backgrounds: Amir (Lukman Sardi) is a Muslim teacher; Marius (Darius Sinathrya) and Soerono (Zumi Zola) come from prijaji families, the Javanese elite class; Dayan (T. Rifnu Wikana) is from Bali and adheres to Hinduism; and Tomas (Donny Alamsyah) is a Christian farmer from North Sulawesi. Despite their conflicting personalities and sharp differences in social class, ethnicity, geographic origin, and religion, they fight on as guerrilla soldiers and become true children of the nation.
The many battle and action scenes are quite breathtaking, from heart-pumping gun battles, gory knife killings and big explosions; kudos goes to special effects guru Adam Howarth, whose credits include other uber-war movies like SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and BLACK HAWK DOWN. Although some naysayers of the film call it nationalistic, director Yadi Sugandi’s intent is not to glorify war, but to show that it is not simplistic. While the Dutch are presented as cruel and sadistic in killing locals, some of the Indonesian cadets, on the other hand, kill their enemies with equal cruelty and with no remorse. RED AND WHITE comes during an interesting time, when many citizens complain of a waning sense of national pride. This film is perhaps an answer to that, epitomizing the country’s pluralistic principle of bhineka tunggal ika (unity in diversity).
Cost: Free and open to the public but tickets required.
Reserve tickets online or by telephone at (213) 680-4462 x59.
Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
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