Historic film shows in a special way – special for both countries – the violent divorce between the colonial Netherlands and the new and militant Indonesia. Besides Bishop Soegija, the film follows young Indonesians and Dutch. About love and war. Nominated for The Big Screen Award.
Soegijapranata, or Soegija as he was called, was the first Javanese bishop to be installed in the Dutch East Indies. That happened in 1942, the year when Japanese troops invaded Indonesia.
Garin Nugroho tells the story of Indonesia’s complex multicultural society until after its independence, based on various characters whose lives touched each other and who were influenced by the ideas of Soegija. For instance, there is the nurse Maryem, whose brother is shot in the street. And Ling Ling, who is separated from her mother by the Japanese. And of course there are also roles for Dutch people: photographer Hendrick and soldier Robert.
Nugroho shows there is no such thing as absolute good and evil; that the Dutch were anything but sweet, and that not all Japanese entered the war with great conviction.