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American movies vs. Indonesian movies

by Rizki Satya Utami
(Chofu, Tokyo, Japan)

Foreign movies are really popular in Indonesia, especially American movies. Most of the time, Indonesian people that go to cinemas would prefer to watch American movies than Indonesian movies, including me. That is because the quality of the movies, especially for the sci-fi and fantasy movies. Since America has a lot more advanced technology in movie-making than Indonesia, The special-effects animation in American movies are far more amazing compared with Indonesian Movies.

However, recently there is also one Indonesian movie that has great special effects and succeeded to be one of the U.S box office hits. The name of the movie is “The Raid.” However, I don’t like that movie because it has a lot of violence and bloody scenes, and the special effects are really focused on how people are murdered by many kinds of weapons.

I prefer American sci–fi and fantasy movies because of the really beautiful and sophisticated special effects they have, not really focused on violence. In general, I think the story plots of American movies are also very creative, smart, and unexpected. In Indonesia, there are many movies that have a great story plot too, but the packaging of the movie (the special effects) is not so good compared with American movies.

These days the Indonesian movies are not so good. The movies are mainly horror movies and comedy movies that are usually not suitable for children to watch. That really makes American movies a lot more popular. This condition kept going on and on until one day, the Indonesian cinematography commission prohibited all foreign movies, mostly American movies, to enter Indonesia.

The purpose was to make more Indonesian movies be watched. However, I think it is the wrong way to solve the problem. I think what the commission should do is to determine some quality standards for the Indonesian movies that are going to be aired. The Indonesian government should also support the Indonesian cinematography more by giving some funds that can be used for educating the people in cinematography more, so that there will be many skillful and professional directors, animators, scriptwriters, and so on. If the quality of Indonesian movies is improved, the movies can compete with foreign movies in Indonesian cinemas or even worldwide cinemas to be watched, not just being ‘the only ones’ that can be watched since the commission prohibits all foreign movies to be aired in Indonesian cinemas.

However, the prohibition of airing foreign movies in Indonesian cinemas didn’t last long. It was probably because the purpose of prohibition was not achieved. Instead of watching Indonesian movies, people were just not going to cinemas anymore. This condition is really bad for the cinema industry, and that is why American movies can be aired in Indonesia again now. I hope someday Indonesian movies will be as great as American movies, or even better. I also hope that someday Indonesian movies can also compete with American movies in not only Indonesian cinemas, but also American cinemas.

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