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Jakarta Post

Restoring film history, one movie at a time

  • Adrian Jonathan Pasaribu


Jakarta   /   Sun, February 19 2012   /  01:38 pm

For 37 years, Sinematek has been the home of the country’s history of cinema, collecting countless films, screenplays, books, newspaper clippings and government regulation drafts in its archives since its founding on Oct. 20, 1975.

But then, documents are not as infinite as history itself. Film stocks, for instance, must be kept in a climate-controlled vault. Should they become exposed to heat, water or high humidity, the film stocks could lose their quality.

The only way to get the film back into a good shape is through restoration.

Such an initiative is being led by Yayasan Konfiden, a nonprofit organization that aims to create a database of every Indonesian film, and the National Museum of Singapore.

In recent months, the two institutions have been working together to restore an Usmar Ismail film, Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew, 1953).