Thursday, October 26, 2006

Enjoying "Love for Share"

"Berbagi Suami", Love for Share,
won the Best Feature Film, Hawaii International Film Festival, 2006

Neneng and I, with many on the theatre tonight I think, really enjoyed watching the movie "Love for Share", and the questions and answers afterwards. The movie was great. The topic was controversial: poligamy. Nia Dinata, the director and producer, and Jajang C. Noer, one of the actresses, were with us sharing their stories behind the scene, with Mbak Yati moderating the discussion so well and interestingly. What I liked most in the movie is that it gives me as the ordinary audience different perspectives about this issue of poligamy; Certainly the script was aimed at carrying a particular point of view, which became clear that poligamy is less an act of love than an act of a run-away, or an excuse, of sexual greed. Nia herself, and Mbak Yati, the moderator in the Q &A session, said that at least everyone knows her or his relatives are poligamous. Jajang even said that poligamy is a legimation of an adultery. But the movie gives us different angles of cultural interpretation. One of the scenes shows how a Muslim female scholar argued against poligamy by interpretating the Quranic passage often used as a legitimation for men to legalize poligamy. "If you are not able to be "fair", have only one wife," said the female scholar in the talkshow, in disagreement with Salma (played by Jajang) who had to accept her husband marrying other women without her initial agreement. There are many interesting scenes about which I cannot simply tell you here. Everyone had his or her own impressions and thoughts regarding the movie. But what I felt is that many scenes made me think, not only enjoy watching it, because its being controversial religiously and socially. The issue itself will remain controversial; and it is good that this movie has given us possibilities to rethink our prejudices or to reinforce our preassumptions.
There are many issues and aspects that can be digged out of this amazing movie. And we continued our conversation in a dinner at a restaurant with Paul, Anthony, Lance, Greg, Herman, Ninik, Neneng, and Sumi. We agreed that the actors and actresses were undoubtedly gorgeous; most are well-known, one or two are not but play so well. It was a movie about a serious controversial issue but was done nicely, often with ironies and humors.

Some of the questions raised in our conversations were whether poligamy is a common practice, how people in Indonesia reacted to the movie, how the actresses perceived their roles and how they viewed the issue itself personally, how stereotypes might have been reinforced or otherwise, how Nia and her crew carried the research, and how they tried to accomodate different elements of the issue, how and why every men were handsome and women in the movie were beautiful, among others.
Here I have to thank to Paul, Anthony, Lance, and Center for Southeast Asian Studies of the University of Hawaii at Manoa for their hard work putting this together. I am grateful for Hawaii International Film Festival which shows movies from different countries, and selected, with the support from the audience, Love for Share, as the best feature film 2006. Also special thank to Nia and Jajang C Noer who shared their marvelous work and stories behind the making. The movie was indeed a product of professionalism, hardwork, discipline, intelligence, and patience. They also have demonstrated their interesting views and how they put these views into a play which is not only entertaining but also is enlightening. I personally expect that more will be coming up from Nia and other bright young Indonesian directors.
There is never a perfect piece of work anywhere anytime (for example, some of the acts and songs do not have subtitles, some generalizations in the scenes might give some misperception among foreign audience about what is actually happening). But this movie, as other Nia's movies I previously watched, such as Cha Bao Kan and Arisan, I really feel that we truely have a bright future of Indonesian movie., which lead us to legitimately proclaim: Bravo Indonesian movie! These have made me and many others, I am quite sure, even more proud of being an Indonesian and a world citizen.
Hale Manoa, 12.26 a.m. October 26, 2006


jailani said...

Ass! I just to give some comments about polygamy that polygamy is not to legalize adultery but its to cover Muslim to do adultery. How the liberal people life knows is not so different than people life in jahiliyah era. they can having sex anywhere, with any girls without responsibilities, so Islam legalize polygamy as emergency action, in the situation there are many widows in case or there is man has strongly libido and many other reason we should learn again and again. because its as emergency, we have to ask us how many Muslim in world doing polygamy, i think not 1 percent of the husband doing it because they know a lot of responsibilities should be realize if they have wives. I watched that movies and after that why the issues of polygamy is controversial here or in the liberal community, i asked my friend so suddenly he answered, why you too confuse to thinks that issues. You know, here if you want to having sex you can do it with your girlfriends or boyfriends anytime and anywhere or you can do intercourse without married as soon as possible. Oh ya ya so that polygamy no need here! The husband or wife can having sex with another person when he or she want to do! Anyway Islam legalize polygamy to eliminate free sex like as we know, it appears in the modern jahiliyah world. Last questions from me to wives! if your husband have strongly libido you are realize them to do polygamy or to do adultery or divorce them, he he he you can choose!


Anonymous said...

selamat buat nia dinata, ur movie is great! semoga bisa masuk nominasi di ajang oscar untuk kategori filem berbahasa asing terbaik