Indonesian films are not only known for its their horror and action genres. Albeit that romance films begin began to be develop ed and produced more rapidly in early 2000s, there are plenty of romance films to watch over this Valentine’s Day if you are looking for something closer to home. Here are our picks of seven Indonesian movies that you can watch with your significant other, friends, or even family in this month of love.
Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (AADC)
In 2002, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta brought new colour to the Indonesian movie industry. Set in a high school, the film tells the story of two young teenagers who fell in love despite coming from different social strata. Cinta, played wonderfully by the young Dian Sastrowardoyo, is a popular high-school student who got smitten by Rangga (the young Nicholas Saputra), a loner and book-loving student. Directed by Rudy Soedjarwo, the film will surely entertain and makes you feel all mushy over the duo’s romance.
Eiffel I’m In Love
Based on a novel with the same name by Rachmania Arunita, Eiffel I'm in Love is a teen rom-com that stars Samuel Rizal and Shandy Aulia and which was released in 2003. The film tells the story of Tita, whose life changed when she met Adit, the son of a her family friend and who came from France. The film garnered many awards, such as MTV Indonesian Movie Awards for Most Favourite Film and Most Favourite Actor.
If you’re a big fan of the original film, don’t miss out on the film sequel Eiffel I’m In Love 2 that sees the continuation of Tita and Adit’s love story in which they are no longer in a long-distance relationship. Drama ensues when Tita doubts Adit’s motives and questions his love for her. Directed by Rizal Mantovani, the film is slated for release this Valentine’s Day.
Released in 2011, Sang Penari is an Indonesian love story set against a 1965 political tragedy backdrop. Adapted from the trilogy novel Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk by Ahmad Tohari, the film tells the love story between Sriniti, village girl destined to be the new ronggeng (prime dancer), and Rasus, in the small poor village of Dukuh Paruk. Directed by Ifa Isfansyah, the film took three years to develop and the actor, Oka Antara, went under a strict diet in order to portray his character, Rasus. For this dedication, Sang Penari snatched four Citra Awards at Festival Film Indonesia for Best Film, Best Director, Best Leading Actress, and Best Supporting Actress.
Habibie & Ainun
Habibie & Ainun is a 2012 drama depicting the heartwarming love story between Indonesia’s third President, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, and his wife Hasri Ainun. The bittersweet love story between the two managed to break the country’s box office record with the most number of audiences in theatres at the time of its release, gaining 4.5 million viewers.
A Copy of My Mind
Directed by Joko Anwar, A Copy of My Mind tells the story of Sari, a female salon worker who falls in love with Alek, a pirated DVD subtitle translator during Indonesia’s presidential election in 2014 (the film was released in 2015). The couple’s lives are put in danger when Sari stole a DVD that contains evidence of political corruption. Starring Tara Basro and Chico Jerikho, the film is an ideal watch for those who want a different kind of Indonesian love story.
A recent addition to Indonesia’s teenage romance films is Dilan 1990, which has been the talk of the town. Based on the trilogy of novels by Pidi Baiq, the film is a love story that will evoke the nostalgia of many 90s kids ranging from its dialogues and the crowd-pleasing acting by Iqbaal Ramadhan and Vanesha Prescilla, through to the setting in Bandung and Jakarta; a perfect love letter of the past decade. Reportedly, Dilan 1990 has entered the top-five Indonesian cinema list, watched by 4,166,000 people after just 13 days of screening!