This cliché-ridden war story from Indonesian director Yadi Sugandi suggests that the Dutch occupation of Indonesia in the post-war period played out like a tawdry TV movie made with the help of a dressing-up box and lots of fake blood and fireworks. Three central protagonists meet at training camp, and, divided by class and belief, hate each other. The anonymous automatons of the Dutch Army later launch a surprise attack while the still-naive troops are on furlough (slow-dancing to Glenn Miller in the middle of the jungle). The second hour of the film sees a series of small skirmishes and the cadets discover that war is a great social leveller. This may be anchored in intricate historical detail, but shots of a Indonesian rebel punching the air, shouting ‘Freedom!’ in front of a flaming lorry make it difficult to take seriously.
Friday November 5 2010
Cast and crew