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Jakarta Post

'Laskar Pelangi': The audacity of hope

Jakarta   /   Sun, September 7 2008   /  09:47 am

Here is a movie adapted from a best-selling Indonesian novel. It took 40 days of filming on Belitong Island, Bangka-Belitung province, involving 12 local actors, and reportedly cost Rp 8 Billion. With all the efforts of transforming Laskar Pelangi (Rainbow Warrior) into a moving picture, will it satisfy readers' imaginations? Laskar Pelangi, the novel, was written by Andrea Hirata in 2005, based on the writer's own experiences. It is about an inspiring teacher and her 10 students in the poverty-stricken Kampung Gantong in Belitong. The poor condition of their school building does not dampen their high spirits and hopes for a better future. Two years later, the novel became a phenomenon in Indonesian literature. With its humanistic touch, Laskar Pelangi has sold more than 500,000 copies and has won the position of Must-Read Novel in every corner of the nation's bookshops a...