A kind of Indonesian Woodstock, but then more political. More than 18 years ago, these legendary recordings of a group of rock musicians and poets known as Kantata Takwa were shelved. A new political situation and digital technology makes a screening possible after all. Still filled with fire.
This memorable political music film arrived in Rotterdam more than 18 years later than planned. As early as 1990, the first invitation was sent for the film that was to have its international première here. There are many reasons for the delay. Firstly there was the political climate of President Suharto's repressive New Order politics. The film documents a series of artistes and their performances in which they rebel against the politics of repression. That was not without its risks. For instance the poet Rendra disappeared behind bars and the same fate threatened artistes such as Sawung Jabo and Iwan Fals (who plays a vital role in the film). The film focuses on a historic rock concert in Jakarta's Senayan Stadium. The group Kantata Takwa, uniting various musicians, performers and poets, gave a rousing and very political performance. A planned follow-up gig in Bandung was banned and the recordings were shelved. After that, simple water damage and lack of money prevented the release of the film. Only recently was the original film material converted to digital video and the film completed.
Most striking in the film is that the euphoria of the moment, the spirit of resistance and the conviction of the artists involved is still tangible. The crew behind the camera (mostly students) was equally involved in the events. (GjZ)