The Other Side of Indonesia: New Order’s Indonesian Exploitation Cinema as Cult Films
journal contributionposted on 22.05.2017, 04:29 by Ekky Imanjaya
This articles explores how Indonesian film industry employed subversive and exploitative techniques to struggle against a dominant order. In particular, it discusses how the Indonesian exploitation films produced under the New Order Regime positioned their villains and criminals as symbols of the Suharto government, and how local and international fan activity and targeted DVD distribution has subsequently attained cult classification for many of these films. The films under consideration were produced and released in Indonesian cinemas during Suharto's New Order Regime (1966-1998). During this time nobody dared to voice their differences or criticize the government, without fear of being silenced or 'disappearing.' Nowadays the Indonesian people have more freedom to express their opinion although it may be different from, or even against, the government. The strongest period for this genre was approximately twenty years before the Reform Movement which led to the downfall of the Suharto government. These films were neglected and abandoned, and many of them vanished. They are largely considered marginal or 'bad' movies in Indonesia, however there are some local and devoted fans that still find and watch these films. This topic will be discussed later in this paper.