Indonesia Literature Part I


It attributes to Pareh, singing Paddy (1935), film semidocumentario Dutchman Manus Franken with non-actors and local technicians, the first seed of an indigenous cinema. National production developed in the 1950s and in 1952 alone more films (about sixty) were made than in the whole of the past. Notable among them was The Cripple by Kotot Sukardi, a neorealist, evoking the tragedy of children in Jakarta during the war. The young Basuki Effendi also asserted himself in this trend, especially with The Return, a film about a veteran enlisted by force by the Japanese. The real pioneer of Indonesian cinema was Usmar Ismail, who died in the early 1960s, who directed The Unforgivable Sin in 1952, then The Dew, with lyrical descriptions of the campaign, and in 1961 The Combatant, on the liberation struggle. A period of decline followed, but starting from the following decade, new recruits of interesting directors came to light. We remember Asrul Sani (What are you looking for, Palupi?, 1970; The Struggles of Life, 1977), Wim Umboh with his two films about the outcasts (Plastic Flowers, 1977, and The Beggar, 1978), Teguh Karya (November 1828, 1977; Eighteen, 1981; Under the Mosquito Net, 1983) and Ismail Subarjo (A woman in chains, 1981). The most important character of the Indonesian cinema of the end of the century is undoubtedly Garin Nugroho (b. 1961), awarded at Cannes in 1998 and 2006. Among his most representative films: Letter to an angel (1993), And the moon dance (1995), Opera Jawa (2006). Among the most interesting authors of the younger generation, who have already entered the international circuits, are Riri Riza (b. 1970), Joko Anwar (b. 1975), Nia Dinata (b. 1970). The vitality of the Indonesian film movement is also evidenced by the growing importance acquired over time by the Jakarta International Film Festival.

Indonesia Cinema


Indonesian literary production is mainly based on two languages, Javanese and Malay, although a written tradition has also been developed in the languages ​​of Sumatra, Bali, Lombok and southern Celebes. The Indian influence of the early centuries d. C. matured Indo-Javanese literature and imprinted a literary direction that was rarely abandoned, at least before the introduction of Islam in the archipelago. The Sanskrit inscriptions of Borneo and Java of the century. V d. C. attest to an early Indian cultural penetration into the archipelago, first as a result of maritime and commercial relations, later of movements of Aryan and Dravidian populations from the Indian subcontinent to the islands. These populations introduced, along with the Brahmanism and Buddhism, Indian arts and literature which, assimilated by Javanese culture, then spread over much of the archipelago. The literature of Indian influence, written with an alphabet also of Indian origin and in a language rich in Sanskrit borrowings, includes cosmological, mythological, genealogical and historical works as well as a treatise of various subjects (lexicography, jurisprudence, religion, moral philosophy, erotology).

The fable and the epic were preferably inspired by the matter of the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyana. Around the sec. X-XI compositions became freer from Indian models. Of the sec. XI is the kakawin entitled Arjuna-wiwâha. Some poetic rearrangements of the Indian epic cycles were composed in kidung. An important historiography, even if of an eminently fictional and celebratory type, flourished at the court of the kingdom of Majapahit between the sec. XIV-XV. Among the most important works are the Desa Warnana (Description of the country), better known as Nagarakrtagama, by Prapanca and the Pararaton (The Book of Kings) by Tantular, the writer who first advanced the idea of ​​Indonesian national unity, introducing the motto bhimeka tunggal ika (unity in diversity), which appears on the coat of arms of the Republic of Indonesia, a country located in Asia according to Lawschoolsinusa. The literature subsequently formed by Islamic influence was vast and multifaceted, although mostly in the Malay language. The Javanese production was less exposed to Islamic influence than it was before to the Indian one, however Islam ended up penetrating the whole culture of Indonesia for a long and uninterrupted historical period starting at least towards the 10th century. XIII-XIV. The areas where Islamic culture took deepest roots were Sumatra, Madura and southern Celebes. The first documents in Arabic-Persian writing are the inscription of Trangganu, of the century. XIV, and a history of Pasa, written between 1350 and 1524. Much of Islamic literature was of a religious subject, but legal literature also enjoyed a prominent position, together with that of a mystical and preparatory character in which Javanese authors appear like Josodipuro and Ronggowarsito of the court of Surakarta. A popular literature, Mohammed, on the main figures and events of the Koran or of Muslim ascetics, as well as on the “nine saints” who according to tradition had converted Java to Islam. Also of Islamic influence is the poetic genre known as shair (or syair), which was used starting from the century. XVI and was often inspired by the popular epic, such as the one linked to the Panji cycle. Following the Dutch colonization, Indonesian literary evolution aligned itself with European forms and genres. The first results, however, began to collect in the century. XX, especially after the Committee for Popular Literature was established in 1908, which made collections of ancient works available to vast social strata, according to a program for the dissemination of culture.


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