Indonesia's quasi-military dictatorship has sought since 1965 to mould Indonesian society into a male-oriented, capitalist, Javanese-dominated national framework. Cinema and television are the most closely-controlled mass media in Indonesia, and films for mass consumption have played an important role in the government's vast socio-political engineering project.
Krishna Sen describes the background and present-day Indonesian film industry and explores how the country's society and history are represented in its film culture. From a critique of four films, she concludes that Indonesian cinema privileges the military against the civilian, the middle class against the popular classes, and men against women. Backed by careful documentation from cinema literature, this is a radical, in-depth perspective on film - its implications, its vulnerability to manipulation and its artistic and propagandist value.
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