The Discourse of Chinese-ness in Alan Lunardi's Karma

Sutandio, Anton (2016) The Discourse of Chinese-ness in Alan Lunardi's Karma. In: The Third International Conference on Chinese Indonesian Studies (ICCIS 2016), March 16, 17, 2016, Jakarta.

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This paper analyzes a contemporary Indonesian horror film, Allan Lunardi's Karma (2008, with special attention to the issue of Chinese-ness. Karma is the first Indonesian horror film post-1998 that explicitly talks about a Chinese-Indonesian family. During the New Order regime, Chinese-Indonesians seldom "display" themselves on Indonesian cinema industry as leading actors/actresses, and when they appear on screen, their portrayal is stereotypical and often times only appear for the sake of a superficial notion of Indonesian diversity. Thus, for more than 30 years, the "official narrative" of Chinese-ness is that of the New Order regime's. The Reformation era brings a fresh start for Chinese-Indonesians, including in the cinema industry. Released on 24 July 2008, almost exactly one decade after the May 1998 tragedy, Karma acts as a commemoration of the tragedy especially with an almost all Chinese-Indonesians cast depicting the tragic life of a Chinese-Indonesian family. The film frames the traumatic past as the source of the present misery which leads to the questions: Can the film free itself from the traumatic past and deliver a "true" portrayal of Chinese-ness, or is it still chained to the undying past that attempts to return to the present? My findings show that the film complicates and problematizes the discourse of Chinese-ness.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese-ness, traumatic past, contemporary Indonesian horror
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Depositing User: Perpustakaan Maranatha
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2016 05:14
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2016 06:57

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