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Jakarta Post

'Bendera' picks on national identity

  • Ary Hermawan

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 16 2008   /  11:23 am

The so-called "Chinese problem" epitomizes all the problems and complexities of Indonesian nationalism in the post-independence era. For decades, sociologist Melly G. Tan says, Chinese-Indonesians have been struggling to resolve the issue. And when the country celebrates the 63rd anniversary of its independence this year, the problem will apparently still remain. Kita Punya Bendera (We Have a Flag), a film by Kunstler-Concept Indonesia, shows how the problem of national identity -- especially regarding ethnic Chinese -- has not been fully settled. The film brilliantly raises the issue through the mind of an elementary student named Timmy. Timmy, played by talented newcomer Paulus, is a 10-year-old ethnic Chinese student at an Indonesian public school who becomes confused when he has to fill out an identity form, in which he is asked to state his d...