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Against all odds, Javanese-language film ‘Yowis Ben’ attracts 800,000 viewers

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, March 14, 2018  /  07:30 pm
Against all odds, Javanese-language film ‘Yowis Ben’ attracts 800,000 viewers

A still from 'Yowis Ben', a movie co-directed by comedian Bayu Skak. (Starvision Plus/File)

Romantic comedy film Yowis Ben has reportedly attracted around 800,000 viewers within three weeks.

Unlike other Indonesian rom-coms, Yowis Ben took the road less traveled by using the Javanese language, which initially drew skepticism from moviegoers.

Yowis Ben co-director Bayu Eko Moektito, also known as Bayu Skak, told The Jakarta Post via telephone on Wednesday that he initially targeted 500,000 viewers.

He said the film had been screened at a limited number of cinemas because of its use of the Javanese language.

However, he said he was happy that the movie was watched by many, even those who did not speak Javanese.

“[The film] was rated 9.8 on IMDB,” he shared, adding that there would be a sequel.

Read also: YouTuber produces romantic comedy that draws on Javanese roots

Language was an issue for Yowis Ben, which means ya, sudahlah (get over it). Bayu said he was attacked by netizens for producing a movie in Javanese.

Some netizens said Bayu was against Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) principles, while others said it was a movie for maids.

In response to the negativity, Bayu, who is also a YouTuber, produced a video titled "Aku Wong Jowo" (I am Javanese).

He told the Post that he created Yowis Ben because of his Javanese roots and that he did not want people to bully over race.

He expressed hope that other films would be created using local languages and dialects. (wen)

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