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Indonesian Cinema after the New OrderGoing Mainstream$
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Thomas Barker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528073

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528073.001.0001

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Indonesian Cinema before Reformasi

Indonesian Cinema before Reformasi

(p.25) 1 Indonesian Cinema before Reformasi
Indonesian Cinema after the New Order

Thomas Barker

Hong Kong University Press

Tracing the history of Indonesian cinema up until 1998, this chapter considers the way in which cinema was conceptualised through post-independence nationalism and later by its relationship to the authoritarian New Order regime. Often referred to as film nasional, Indonesian cinema has been subject to a nationalist interpretation which has meant the promotion of a prescriptive idea of cinema as a tool for nation building. By questioning the parameters of film nasional and the veneration of artist filmmakers like Usmar Ismail, this chapter traces the history of Indonesian cinema and the film industry as a complex network of interests and influence that cannot be reduced to the values of individual filmmakers. It shows how throughout the New Order the film industry came under state control before its decline in the 1990s and relegation to the cultural periphery. Here the failures of existing explanatory models are revealed just as the New Order would end in 1998.

Keywords:   national cinema, nationalism, national culture, state, Usmar Ismail, New Order

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