Indonesian biographical movie “Kartini: the Princess of Java” to be screened in Algiers

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ALGIERS- The Indonesian film “Kartini: the Princess of Java” will be screened this Wednesday, October 26th, 2022, as part of the “MIKTA Film Festival 2022” which takes place every Wednesday from October 05 to 26, 2022, 5:00 p.m., at the Ibn Khaldoun Hall.

The screening of the film (1h 58min), released in 2017, will be free of charge.

Synopsis of the movie:

The Indonesian biographical family drama film “Kartini: the Princess of Java” depicts the story of the Indonesian heroine named Kartini. In the early 1900s, when Indonesia was still a colony of the Netherlands, women weren’t allowed to get higher education. Kartini grew up to fight for equality for women. In detail, the movie unfolds the story of Raden Adjeng Kartini (played by Dian Sastrowardoyo), a daughter born into a Javanese family of nobles in 1879. Her father’s position as a Javanese aristocrat working for the Dutch government provided her with the opportunity to attend a Dutch school – a privilege that few Indonesians had. Her exposure to Western ideals and education played a crucial role in her growth as an activist in her later years. Noting that during that time, women in Java, a land ruled by noble families under Dutch tutelage, were denied the right to access higher education, even for women of royal descent. In Javanese culture, women had only one goal: to be the wife of a man of royal blood. Kartini grew up fighting against this caste system… fighting for women’s equality, and, most importantly, she fought for the right of all people to get educated regardless of their social status or gender. Through this featured film, we will embark on an emotional journey of Kartini where she had to challenge her own family, and her culture to change the rules and traditions that were considered sacred in Java. To this end, the film centralizes around an important chapter of Kartini’s life known as ‘pingitan’ – a period of time for Javanese adolescent females to be put into seclusion until a worthy suitor arrives to take her away and give her a role in society as a Raden Ayu, a wife of a nobleman.

Given her continued interest in education, Kartini spends her time during seclusion, reading books provided by her brother, Raden Mas Kartono (played by Reza Rahardian). This only further deepens her desire to provide leading roles and progression for women in society. With the addition of her two sisters, the three Klaverblad (Clover Leaves Sisters) worked together in fighting against Javanese traditions and socio-political standards of the 1800s through writing published articles in multitude Dutch periodicals in Java. Unfortunately, her battle for the fulfillment of her vision of attending higher education in The Netherlands fell short. Nonetheless, the agreement with Kartini’s father, who in exchange for her arranged marriage, helped fund the building of schools for women and the underprivileged, is the gateway to present day Indonesian society.

I invite you, dear readers, to watch this movie, retracing a crucial moment in Indonesian history, as it provides viewers with the opportunity to travel back in time and experience the hardships endured at that time, which would eventually turn into today’s autonomy and access to education for Indonesian women. And thanks to these sacrifices, the Indonesian woman is playing a prominent role in society and is an integral part of Indonesian success. Indonesia has recognized that women’s leadership is integral to a democratic, peaceful and just State. One of Indonesia’s major achievements for women and girls is reaching gender parity in education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The value of education is well-known for this new generation of women leaders on the rise.

Besides, the sets and costumes were beautifully crafted to transport us back to colonial-times Java; from the Dutch architecture to the traditional Batik clothing.

Noting that the film is directed by Setiawan Hanung Bramantyo (born 1 October 1975), an Indonesian director known for his films ranging from teen romances to religious dramas, and written by Bramantyo and Bagus Bramanti. It features an ensemble cast, with Dian Sastrowardoyo starring in the title role of Indonesian woman emancipation heroine, Kartini. Christine Hakim, Acha Septriasa, Ayushita, Adinia Wirasti, and Reza Rahadian co-stars in supporting roles.

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