SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

Film Programme: Indonesia Kontemporer 2016 (IKON)

Saturday 8 October, Khalili Lecture Theatre



Tamu Agung (Exalted Guest), 1955
Director: Usmar Ismail
100 minutes

Tamu Agung - Exalted Guest

Widely acclaimed as a brilliant political comedy, Tamu Agung’s satire is directed at the increasing role of charismatic political leadership in a newly independent Indonesia. It is about the expected visit of a dignitary from Jakarta to a small isolated village, near East Java. The dignitary fails to come, and in the atmosphere of heightened expectation, a peddler of herbal medicines is mistaken for the visiting VIP, and is accorded a ceremonial welcome in fabulous Javanese style.


Street Punk! Banda Aceh

Street Punk! Banda Aceh
Director: Maria Bakkalapulo and Niall Macaulay
52 minutes

A short documentary on the lives of Aceh’s street punks. Punk’s freedom of expression clashes worldwide with political and religious dogma. They made headlines in 2011 when 64 punks were taken away by the police. Punished just for being punks, subjected to some “re-education” regimen. Street Punk! Banda Aceh examines the changing society, and follows the punk community while it adapts, exists and finds its identity in one of the Indonesia’s strictest regions.


Pasung - Breaking the Chains

Pasung (Breaking the Chains), 2014
Director: Dr Erminia Colucci
65 minutes

A documentary about social activism in Java focused on freeing those who live chained and isolated because of pasung. Thousands of people worldwide with mental health problems are confined to live in isolation, chained, or inside “animal cages”. Naked, undernourished and often living in their own excrement because of the confinement practice of pasung. This film tells an original story about the social activism to free people from this.



Lewat Djam Malam - After the Curfew

Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew), 1954
Director: Usmar Ismail
101 minutes

Classic Indonesian cinema. A revolutionary hero returns to civilian life to find the new society very different from the ideals he fought for. It is a passionate work looking directly at a crucial moment of conflict in Indonesian history: the aftermath of the four-year Republican revolution which brought an end to Dutch rule. This is a visually and dramatically potent film about anger and disillusionment, about the dream of a new society cheapened and misshapen by government repression on the one hand and bourgeois complacency on the other.

Restored in 2012 by the National Museum of Singapore and the World Cinema Foundation, with support from the Konfiden Foundation and Kineforum of the Jakarta Arts Council. The restoration work was conducted by Cineteca di Bologna/L'Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory from original film elements preserved at Sinematek Indonesia.


View the full Indonesian Kontemporer 2016 programme


Inspired by Indonesian arts and cultural traditions, Indonesia Kontemporer, is a creative event mixing exhibitions, performances, workshops, crafts, film screenings, as well as food and handicrafts stalls.  Artists and crafts people participating in this event hailed from many parts of the world outside Indonesia. With their acute awareness of the source tradition while engaging with lives abroad, these works and offerings do not only remain inspired by Indonesian tradition but in turn contribute to shaping the arts and crafts of contemporary Indonesia.

ARTi UK, established in August 2010, is a non-profit organisation aiming at promoting Indonesian HOarts and culture within the UK's cultural diversity.

Organiser: ArtiUK and hosted by the SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0) 20 7898 4893/2

Sponsor: Indonesian Embassy in London