Life

Hirata happy with 'Laskar
Pelangi'

ANDREA HIRATA: (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
ANDREA HIRATA: (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)

JAKARTA: Writer Andrea Hirata said he had chosen the right duo to produce and direct the wide-screen adaptation of his debut and best-selling novel, Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Warriors).

"Thank God I chose the right people to produce and direct the movie. I already cried just from seeing the trailer," Andrea told The Jakarta Post.

Three weeks after his book was launched, he said, numerous directors and producers had come knocking on his door, offering him billions of rupiah for the rights to turn the book into a film.

Andrea had turned them down because they did not really understand the book, he says.

Instead he chose the country's best filmmakers, Riri Riza and Mira Lesmana, to be director and producer respectively.

"I feel a connection with these two because they understand the book as a literary work, not just a historical biography (as many readers have misunderstood it).

"Because they understand the it, they have seen the book with an imaginative perspective from the very beginning."

Andrea said Riri and Mira had "caught the book's substance".

"This is not a children's book, but a book about children. It's an irony about a lack of access to education for children in one of the world's wealthiest islands."

The movie is expected to hit the screens Sept. 28 and will be shown not only at cinemas but also in outdoor theaters. --JP/Matheos Messakh

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