Movie Java heat – doesn’t give honor for Indonesia

Yesterday I saw an  action movie “Java heat”. Usually I’m not interested in such movies but I was curious to see how Yogyakarta will be shown in this movie. Because it was mainly filming in Yogyakarta and Central Java island.

And I was totally disappointed!

  • 1st because of director Conor Allyn.
  • 2nd because of Indonesian people who after reading storyline approved film shooting in Indonesia.
  • 3rd because of Indonesian actors who were selected for the movie and accepted the offer.
  • 4th because of people who left positive reviews about this movie.


Director who lived in Indonesia almost 5 years (he filmed more movies related with Indonesia) even don’t know (didn’t pay attention) in things which were shown like untruth:

  • Vesak day was shown like celebration for the privileges people: parade with elephants, luxury participants clothes, big tents with furniture inside, like for kings.
  • Showing Muslim guy preparing Christian friend for burial in a mosque?
  • Showing Muslims like killers, he didn’t took just Indonesian people, he exactly choose Indonesian Muslims.

Indonesian people who approved the movie:

  • Accepted to show Indonesian Muslims like terrorists, using Allah name like a reason to kill. After such movies, how people can think that Muslims are not terrorists?
  • Allowed in Borobudur temple jumping through ruins, shooting there and etc. I can’t understand how they got permission to film there. A place of such peace being used as the backdrop for gun play. When at the same time they are making campaigns to educate visitors not to climb on the ruins and etc.
  • Showing Chinese people like prostitution promoter. Even how they allowed to show, that in Muslim country they even have elite prostitutes and it’s possible easy to “order”?
  • Accepted to show that foreigners with big money amount can do whatever they want in Indonesia, even to buy historical Javanese relic or use child sex abuse of boys?

Indonesian actors:

  • I don’t understand how they accept to represent their nation like terrorists?

And people who left review like “Java Heat seemed to be the embodiment of slick collaboration between Western and Eastern cultures that try to give a different perspective on Indonesia.” and etc. I think don’t understand how this movie represent Indonesia.

You think I react too sensitive? It’s just a movie?

But this movie shows and approves almost everything that Indonesian people try to dispose. So how the world can understand Indonesians? In one hand, years by years Indonesians trying to show themselves different from stereotypes about them. But in another hand they approves to film a movie about all Indonesian stereotypes. For what? Because of good money? Does money means everything, even to humiliate the nation?

I’m afraid even to think how director presents Indonesia in other his movies.

I’m not against to show reality, I’m against to show untruth.

In one interview director said that he wanted to show a beauty of Indonesia. For me this movie is very strange understanding of beauty.

By the way, this movie had a lot of attention from international press but only because of 2 famous actors Mickey Rourke and “Twilight” actor Kellan Lutz.

Some reviews about the movie, that I don’t understand. How people see only these things:
Resty Woro Yuniar of Wall Street Journal: Southeast Asia gave the film three and a half stars out of 5, writing “while the plot is predictable, the movie does give a viewer a good feel [Indonesia]” and notes “the movie does a fairly good job of capturing Indonesian traditions.”

Jeff Bounds from Dallas Business Journal noted that the “lighting, the special effects, and the cinematography” looked like it came straight out of Hollywood rather than Indonesia.

Andrew Skeates from Blueprint: Review gives it 3 out of 5 stars and notes that it “delivers its fair share of bone crunching and bullet riddled action scenes. From an extended chase through the back alleys of Java (which features several painful looking motorcycle stunts) to several hard hitting shootouts and a particularly memorable bit with a rocket launcher, Java Heat dishes out some thrilling action beats which have a distinctive old school feel about them.”

Also all reviews seams talking only about screening, acting but what about value that the movie brings?

Couple of the different reviews:
Los Angeles Time
New York Times

As well, I couldn’t even imagine that this movie was screened in film festivals: at the Dallas International Film Festival on April 4, 2013, then at the Taormina Film Fest on June 15–22.

Really I started to think that world goes in some wrong direction or maybe my world is a bit different?

And here is Indonesian people reviews that shows directors mistakes (in Indonesian language, so I will just copy/paste some parts)

Evania Putri Rifyana

<…>there are some scenes that are also considered sufficient to tickle the eyes of viewers who pay close attention. One was when a man who acted as perpetrators of explosions, complete with traditional Javanese dress, casually walked amid the crowd by using a vest containing a bomb that had been left open, but nobody noticed.

Not only that, in one scene traveling entourage envoy Admiral US Navy after the pick Jake, played by Kellan Lutz foreign players, which will aim to Airport also bring a question mark. How could travel to Yogyakarta Adisucipto airport through the streets of small fields and there are directions “Airport” by the way? Yes, maybe it was just a ploy directed to expedite the storyline. But less is considered appropriate to imagine the real situation. On the other hand in the same scene, visible unidentified female figure, dressed in red with long hair tasseled horses off the bike and come to be one of the teams that confront the mysterious journey of the US Navy and his entourage Jake. He acted like a hero Tomb Raider with the gun that fired towards the car entourage, then go just disappeared and did not reappear in the next scene. Not known who she was and what the purpose of the use of female characters in the masculine scene? Is that one form of break-feminist image of women? Or just as a “sweetener” deliberately artificial served to add to the entertainment scene in the midst of a thrilling passion?

Another oddity is also seen in one scene when the character Jake wants to find information about female with tiger tattoo. Jake looks down from a orange three-wheeled vehicle. “Bajaj” is becoming a common vehicle that is identical to the icon of the capital Jakarta, is shown as being part of urban transportation in Yogyakarta. It’s already clear, Bajaj is not used public transportation in Yogyakarta and none at all in DIY.

From all of that, there is the most important thing is not spared from this movie, that is how shown life in Kraton. Peak seen in some scenes stories, the palace courtiers successfully boycotted by the central character an American named Malik, played by Mickey Rourke. Exactly like scenes in Hollywood action movies, with typical Javanese clothes. The courtiers were armed with sophisticated asset rob the palace relics which are kept in the bank, driving a black van in the style of high-profile agent whose section side of the car there is a symbol that looks like the epitome Ngayogyakarta Palace, although the color and text are deliberately differentiated.<…>


<…>practically from beginning to the end has been shown negatively about Islam and Muslims. Instead of showing how tolerant Muslims are, they show opposite.<…>

<…>Hashim, a police lieutenant, has mark on his clothes “Detachment 88”, also in the side of police car marked the “Densus 88”, something strange and ridiculous. Because in reality members of Detachment 88 don’t want to publicize themselves in community<…>


P.S. In my opinion, not to worth spend more than 1 and a half hour to watch this movie :)

If you saw this movie, what do you honestly think about it (not counting “exotic” places and famous actors)?

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Indonesian discoveries (part 1) – sound and look

When you have opportunity to live abroad (doesn‘t matter for how long) you need not only adapt to new things but as well you discover new things: new daily life, people, habits, feelings, places and much more. In this part I want to share about my Indonesian “sound” and “look” discoveries.


Music band „Pajung Teduh“

It was first „meeting“ with Indonesian music. I discover them before coming to Indonesia, when I was searching in „Youtube“ the popular music of Indonesia. I found one long playlist with different type of music, I just started to listen and stopped when I heard them. Somehow, at that moment, they enchant me with the voice, sound, calm beauty. I told myself, if I will have any chance to listen them playing live in Indonesia – I will do that. And after almost 9 months staying in Indonesia, they had a concert in Yogyakarta. And I was there! :)
Here is more their music.

Indonesian discoveries - "Pajung teduh"

Singer „frau“

I was invited by local friend to come to „FrogHouse“ and listen to her concert. It wasn‘t commercial concert or even good promoted. Like nowadays she is very popular and if anybody would have chance to come to listen her for free – would be too crowdy and „FrogHouse“ concept not about attract more people. „frau“ feminine voice, friendly, honest look and all stories behind the songs – like true life story. Also, guys,made special stage for her – it was very original and cozy. All atmosphere was magical. Here is a link to free her music download.

Indonesian discoveries - singer "frau"

Indonesian discoveries - stage


When first time I heard playing with gamelan in my university music department, already then I was admire of the sound. But when sunny morning I went to visit Sultan palace („Kraton“) in Yogyakarta and they had gamelan performance almost 1 hour there – I had magnificent time. Nothing can be better to start the day with waving sounds which gave so much positive emotions.

Indonesian discoveries - gamelan

Music group „TIK!TOK!“

I and my Indonesian friends never heard them before but when we heard them in „Earthernity fest“ we were mesmerize. They didn‘t play many their own songs, but the way how they made covers of popular western musicians songs – was just amazing. Soft voice, natural behavior, music elegance. Now I would like to hear their concert at least once more :). Here is their music.

Indonesian discoveries - "TIK!TOK!"


I like to watch movies and my friends knows that ;). When they organize any movie night in their place – usually I already have seen those movies :D. In Indonesia the same, even if internet here quite slow, I still try to download movies (with big patient :)). I haven‘t seen many movies about Indonesia, but those which I saw – really helped me to understand some things of Indonesian lifestyle, history.

Indonesian discoveries - "Jalanan"„Jalanan“

Movie about street music in Jakarta. 3 different people with different life stories but the same way to earn money. Interesting to know a bit more about those which people sometimes even don‘t notice. The „small“ people with their big life’s.



Indonesian discoveries - "The act of killing"„The act of killing“

A documentary movie about 1965 happenings in Indonesia. Showing the killers memories and their open stories about things that they did and how they were influenced by Hollywood crime movies. I couldn’t believe that people can tell about people deaths with smile and pride. If you want to understand some history part of Indonesia, I suggest to watch it.


Indonesian discoveries - "The look of silence"„The look of silence“

Documentary (possible to say 2nd part of “The act of killing”) about a one man, whose brother was killed during 1965 happenings in Indonesia. His open questions to the killers and life beside them , searching the truth just more than brave. Movie are very sensitive, truly to say, the end even doleful me.

After this movie was launched, this man with his family changed their ID and moved to another place to live.

I saw this movie in Indonesian local community place. Even passed 50 years, till now, 1965 happenings is very sensitive topic in public. After movie screening, organizers told that before they will discuss about it, they need to ask local community permission, if it’s ok that they will have this topic. As well, when this movie was shown later in some public places, there were people trying to prohibit to show it (for example damage all motorbikes in parking place of people who came to watch the movie).

Movie "PK"„PK“

Movie not about Indonesia but showing different religions in funny way and it‘s very suit with multi religiosity Indonesian side. New angle to realize and understand „differences“ between religions.





I could recommend as well to watch these movies (more or less related with Indonesia ;)): „Baraka“, „Samsara“, „Eat pray love“.

If you are interesting, here are more useful links related with Indonesia and movies industry :): movies set in Indonesia; famous movies filmed in Indonesia; best movies from Indonesia; list of Indonesian films; 10 Quality Indonesian movies you have to watch.

What kind of Indonesia discoveries you have/had? :)

Interesting? Great! :) You might also like these:

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“Clever” Indonesian medical system

During my stay in Indonesia I already had some “meetings” with the Indonesian medical system. I had some problems with a skin, bees bite and long lasting bronchitis (I tried to get well almost 2 months). But all things that happen and treatment that I got in different places it was quite ok, even if I (like European) didn’t sometimes understood the system – why it’s made so complicated.

But yesterday, when I needed to make my last vaccine from Hepatitis B (like 2 first vaccines I had time to make before coming to Indonesia) I was totally surprised of Indonesian medical system.

So here is the story :)

We came to the clinics at 8:00 am, after couple of minutes waiting in the reception I was registered with a doctor (that starts to work this day only at 10:00 am and works only 2 hours). First strange thing if really only one doctor in whole big clinic can work with the vaccinations? Let it be, we were already there and I wanted to finish this vaccination question as soon as possible, so let’s wait :).

We went to the section, where we need to register for a line to that doctor. Like it’s quite early, I thought that I will be one of the firsts in the line. A little bit before 10:00 am, we already sitting in the front of doctors doors. 10.30 – 11.00 am doctor doesn’t  show up yet!

We went to speak with a nurse about my vaccination, if it will be enough time to make necessary analysis still today. Like I read somewhere that before making vaccination in Indonesia, in some clinics make additional blood test and etc. to check if patient health condition is really good to take the vaccine. The nurse didn’t say anything, just “please wait for a doctor”.

Already 11:15 am, finally doctor show up – but with a big sadness, I‘m not the first one in the line – more 5 people before me. So I’m still waiting for my “magic” vaccine.

Finally doctor invites me almost before 12:00 am (before his working hours finished). 3 min. in his cabinet, he gives the papers for making vaccination and that’s all. No tests, no questions.

I came back to nurse, showed doctors papers, she gave the bill for visiting doctor and explains what to do next. I’m going to pay to cashier for visiting doctor for 3 min. (and waiting almost 2 hours), coming back to nurse to give the copy of payment.

Going to pharmacy, putting the paper that doctor gave (vaccine name), waiting till pharmacy person will call me. Finally I heard my name, get the bill for vaccine. Going to pay for cashier again, coming back to pharmacy, showing the copy of payment and again waiting till they will call my name and will give the vaccine.

Finally, I have the vaccine and the syringe (yeah, you need to pay even for the doctors tools).

Going to another place, showing again all papers, explain what I want, giving the vaccine. Again getting the bill (for injection), going to cashier again, paying and coming back with payment copy.

Only then they made me the vaccine. Finally!!! After almost 4,5 hours in clinic I got my 3rd Hepatitis B vaccine!

After all, I started to think, why I needed to wait for a doctor and pay for his visit (3 min.), if he wrote only the paper. Why the nurse can’t do it, if no additional test needed to be done and etc.? Why needed to make so many payments at different time in different cabinets if would be enough to pay just for all service at once and get it in one place (for example in Lithuania we have special cabinet /places where you can make all vaccines,  it’s like dedicated only to vaccinations)?

In my mind is only 2 thoughts: First they want to earn more money of doing so complicated process and involving more people to whom you will need to pay. Second – because of low unemployment situation in Indonesia they try hire more people and give them even small jobs (I already had many situation in another places when 1 person opens the doors, 2nd asks what you are searching for, 3rd find what you need, 4th gives you a bill, 5th takes your money, 6th pack your stuff and 7th helps you to take out the motorbike from parking ares). The nurse’s makes only documentation, they don’t’ have any right to decide or give any information about medical treatment. Other person makes just vaccinations, others just collect the recipes, other just collects the medicine, others gives you a bill. Everything could be much more easier :).

So what do you think it is? The way to earn more money or the way to engage more people and try to reduce unemployment in the country?

P.S. my advice even if in Indonesia the price of vaccination will be much cheaper than in your country, I suggest (if there is possibility) to make all vaccines before you are coming to Indonesia. First everything will be more clear and second you won’t waste your time and won’t kill nerve cells :D.

Do you have experience with medical systems abroad? Share your experience :)

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