A short film discussion, Candra Aditya’s Dewi pulang




Fox, Richard

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Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde


Short films have proven an important medium for social commentary in contemporary Indonesia. As an example of the genre, this special issue of bki presents Candra Aditya’s (2016) short film, Dewi pulang (Dewi goes home), which follows a young Javanese woman as she travels from Jakarta to her natal home in Central Java to attend her father’s funeral. A critically annotated transcript and translation of the film’s dialogue is followed by four essays on various aspects of the film and a conversation with the filmmaker. Issues addressed include the changing nature of short films and ‘indie’ cinema in post-authoritarian Indonesia; the filmmaking practices specific to Dewi pulang; the interplay of absence and presence in Dewi’s movement between Jakarta and her natal home in Central Java; and the juxtaposition of Indonesian-, English- and Javanese language dialogue, and the forms of sociality they respectively embody. Taken as a whole, the special issue offers at once a window onto short filmmaking in Indonesia and new primary materials for further analysis.


The author thanks all of those who reviewed and commented on the transcript and translation including Candra Aditya, Thomas Barker, Rosalia Namsai Engchuan, Verena Meyer, Judith Fox, Joseph Errington, and the three anonymous reviewers for BKI. A special debt of gratitude is owed to Amnina Fira Kharira and Yosephin Apriastuti Rahayu, who read and discussed the full transcript and translation with the author in detail. Any remaining errors, oversights, and infelicities are the author's own.


cinema, short films, Indonesia, Java, Jakarta


Fox, R. (2021). “A short film discussion, Candra Aditya’s Dewi pulang.” Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 177(2), 183-207. https://doi.org/10.1163/22134379-bja10026