CHANTS OF LOTUS / PEREMPUAN PUNYA CERITA Screening – Wednesday, April 29, 7pm, Broad Hall 210, Pitzer College; Pizza Party at 6:30pm

April 22, 2009 at 11:34 pm 10 comments


In person: Fatimah Tobing Rony (Director)

Four women filmmakers tackle four different stories about lives of marginalized women in Indonesia: in “Chant From an Island”, a midwife in a deserted island sacrifices her dying health to rescue a mentally challenged woman; in “Chant From a Tourist Town”, a high-school student toys around with an overwhelming access to free sex, which may put her life in jeopardy; in “Chant From a Village”, a single mother is forced to see her daughter and her best friend fall victims to women and children trafficking syndicate; and in “Chant From the Capital City”, a middle class Chinese woman is about to be separated from her only daughter because of an HIV threat.

This film was heavily censored by the Indonesian government.  The uncensored version (if available) will be screened. Some scenes are graphic and shocking.  This film is intended for mature audiences.


Directors: Fatimah Tobing Rony, Upi Avianto, Nia diNata, Lasja F. Susatyo

Cast: Rieke Dyah Pitaloka, Rachel Maryam, Arswendy Nasution, Kirana Larasati, Fauzi Baadila, Shanty, Susan Bachtiar, Sarah Sechan

For more information, go to the film’s web site (in Indonesian), or view film trailer on YouTube, for information in English, search on google, internet movie database (IMDB), or YouTube.

The film screening will be preceded by a pizza party, both events are free and open to the publicThis is our final screening for the mini-festival, thanks to everyone who helped out and participated!

Posted by Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

AGAINST THE GRAIN: An Artist’s Survival Guide to Perú Screening – Wednesday, April 22, 7pm, Broad Hall 210, Pitzer College TEFL

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. rylee rubalcava  |  April 29, 2009 at 6:19 am

    -Do you feel as though the censored version of you film changes its intended impact?

    -A documentary was made about the request to the Constitutional Court for the Indonesian film society to reform the censor system. Was anything accomplished and was the documentary ever released?

    -What did you intend for your audience to take away from this film?

  • 2. Tommy Meyer  |  April 29, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    1. Who was your intended audience for this film?

    2. Is the situation in Indonesia today (for women) as grimacing as you portray it in the film?

    3. Has the release of this film made an impact in Indonesia?

    4. Why was the Indonesian government so adamant in the censoring of your film?

    5. How were you trying to portray men in the film?

  • 3. Michelle Fong  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    1. Were you influenced by the other filmmakers when you were directing “Chant from an Island”?

    2. What drew you to make a film in Indonesia?

    3. How do you decide what story you want to tell? What do you hope the impact of these films are?

    4. Why are the films censored for release but not in film festivals in Indonesia?

  • 4. Bailey Busch  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    How did you all come together for this project?

    In your opinions, how do the film’s components enhance /complement each other?

    What were your individual creative processes?

    What were your reactions to being censored? How do you thing that censorship impacted the film’s messages?

  • 5. Brandon Sze  |  April 29, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    How did the collaboration work between the different filmmakers? Were there any ideas that had to be compensated? Working together, were there many new ideas developed?

    Why was the film censored? And is the original intention of the film jeopardized by this censorship?

    How were the audiences’ responses to this movie?

  • 6. Matthew Park  |  April 29, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    Did the four filmakers have a great influence on each other in developing the four stories?

    What is the trait or characteristic that binds these four women together?

    Are these situations commonplace throughout Indonesia? Are they true stories?

  • 7. Liana Engie  |  April 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I’m not the best at Bahasa, and I’m only familiar with Malay (Indonesian is very similar) and (roughly) translated a bit from the Perempuan Punya Cerita website:

    Perempuan Punya Cerita:
    Roughly translates into “Woman/Lady’s (Own) Story/account”
    The Kalyana Shira Foundation is a nonprofit organization which formed concerned members founded against (permasalahan) who cover women, children, and marginal groups of Indonesia, in order the bring to the surface an honest [pictoral] description of their life to form a public understanding of their their conditions, and for creating better quality of life for them. The organization founded is framework on active actors (perliman) Indonesia which started production after an era of reforms, and also together raise/generate local film industry and appreciative audiences for Indonesian film. Film and different audiovisual formats became choice for Kalyana Shira Foundation to realize the strength of the medium as a utensil for effective communication, educational activities, and delivering campaign messages. This choice synergizes with the Kalyana Shira Foundation founder, Nia Dinata (author, producer, and director) as her work has already depreciated? the film worker figure/hole comprehensively by local and international audiences. (that last sentence is weird, sorry)
    Women, children, and marginal groups within Indonesian society very rarely come forward (“come forward” is questionable. Maybe, “are presented” is a better translation) realistically displayed in a local production for many reasons/motives. The first issue is women have trouble procuring source funds. To fill this vacancy, Kalyana Shira Foundation, with support from the Ford Foundation, has (created? I don’t know the word menyelisiakan) an anthology film, the work of female directors, namely Nia Dinata, Upi, Lasja R. Susatyo, and Fatimah T. Rony.

  • 8. Fred Chang  |  April 30, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Why did the four women filmmakers utilize the format of an anthology? Did they believe this would be the best way to tell their stories/messages?

    Does this censorship of the movie change the message of the fillmmakers?

    How did the people in Indonesia respond to the censoship? Do they care? DId people ask to see the uncensored version?

  • 9. Liana Engie  |  April 30, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Actually, the last sentence in Background is more like “the film worker/employee hole/deficit was already depreciated comprehensively due to local and international audiences”

    Also, Fatimah’s bio on the website is:
    Fatima is an Indonesian woman who lives in America; she realized her obsession/passion was making films (diselasela – I don’t know what this means? sela is a gap or interval. sela-sela would be intervals, but I’m not sure what this word means) and she currently teachers at UCIrvine. The Film Perempuan Punya Cerita is her first experience making an anthology film which is complete and cooperated with film workers with an Indonesian setting. Fatima will produce the first film with the setting in Samosir, North Sumatera.

    Sorry, I’m not that good at translating. It’s been ages.

  • 10. Liana Engie  |  April 30, 2009 at 12:44 am

    My questions:
    -Having lived in both Indonesia and American, how do you feel they compare in terms of encouraging prospective filmmakers? What is the film industry like in Indonesia?
    -Do you think the 1998 riots had any affect on the independent film industry in Indonesia? Are there any repercussions still felt today?
    -Why did you wait until now to make your first movie set in Indonesia?


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