Revisiting Gender in the New Order Film Culture (1965-1998)
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Co-Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program, University of Hawai′i at Mānoa
Friday, April 1st, 12 Noon, Tokioka Room (Moore 319)
Presentation by Intan Paramaditha
Department of Cinema Studies
New York University
One crucial feature of the Indonesian cinema revival after the downfall of the New Order authoritarian regime in 1998 is the entrance of more women into the film scene. Within a relatively more democratic political climate, this coincides with the emergence of new women writers, artists, and activists who challenge the New Order gender constructions and frankly examine how women experience their bodies, desires, and sexuality. Today women have significant roles in film production, exhibition, and distribution as producers, directors, scriptwriters, and film festival organizers. This dynamic situation is a new privilege in the history of Indonesian cinema, as records indicate that there were only four women who directed and produced their films before 1998. Through this presentation, I would like to revisit the New Order film culture and trace how gender discourse was produced by state paternalism and cultural paternalism underpinning the male-dominated film scene. Contrary to the assumption that the New Order film artists were compliant to state power as a result of the severe control on cinema, I will show spaces of resistance in which the (male) artists posed their critique towards the official visions of nationhood and how opposing voices were articulated through gender metaphors. The two faces of paternalism, hence, operated in different ways, yet both have largely ignored women’s perspectives and limited women’s involvement as decision-makers in the New Order film culture.
Ms. Intan Paramaditha is a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Cinema Studies, New York University, currently writing her dissertation on film culture and sexual politics in post-Suharto Indonesia. Her writings on Indonesian cinema appear in Jump Cut, Asian Cinema, Criticine, and Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She also writes fiction and has published two collections of short stories in Indonesia.