Soe Hok Gie is an activist who lived in the sixties. Set in the darkest era of Indonesian modern history, GIE is an interpretation of what happened based on his journal. He is a history student when his world stretches between politics and personal life. A critical young man, he sounds his great concerns about his collapsing nation. Yet, he is sensitive and romantic. He loves to explore the mountains, to admire the great beauty of nature. His life is a clash between the high drama of national political events and the small world of friendship and romance. He is falling apart when he sees that his constant battle for justice and truth gives labor to another dictatorial regime, and caused the massacre of millions suspected communists, including his childhood friend. He continues to fight but his uncompromised idealism drives people away. His best friends left him. The woman he loves rejects him. From time to time, nature is a place where Gie finds peace and it's where his life comes to ... Written by
Soe Hok Gie:
The history of the world is one of oppression. The question is, can there be history without oppression or without sadness and betrayal? It's like, when studying history, the only thing we find is betrayal. It is there, in each and every part of our life, and yet we can do nothing about it. How very tragic this is. But "life is suffering," so says the Buddha, and people cannot escape from it.
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I would have to agree with another comment giver on this movie about the vagueness of Gie's relationship with his father, the human side of Gie that only appeared in the latter part of the movie, the fact that Gie always seemed to be sheltered from the fistfights that rampantly broke up among the debaters at the university, and the narration style that was rather monotonous and unclear. However, I must say that when watched in a more relaxed mood, I really did enjoy the cinematography of this movie. The soundtrack and the casting were fabulous as well (umh, hello, you don't get any better than Nicholas Saputra!).
However, I'm rather disappointed with the plot of the latter part of the movie, but since this was based on true story then I really can't blame the screenwriter--I just expected better from such an important and respected man in Indonesia's history.
Anyway, this movie is an interpretation of the life of Soe Hok Gie, a young Chinese Indonesian activist who lived in the 1960's and was an influential freelance journalist and university students' leader who opposed the communist party and the regimes of Indonesia's first presidents Sukarno and Suharto. His dream was to see Indonesia become a land truly founded on justice and righteousness, and his academic life was all about the fight to make this come true. Up to the point that he reaches the climax of seeing the Sukarno regime crumble down, I have tremendous respect for this person, and I still esteem him as a very important person in Indonesia's history. I am also proud to share his Chinese heritage. I just feel really pity, though, that Soe did not seem to be quite ready to grow out of an intellectual student's life and face a new season afterwards. Do watch the movie to find out what I mean. I think it should be legitimate, though, to hint that you won't be disappointed with the way the filmmakers portrayed the ending... I'll keep you curious on this one. WATCH IT!
By the way, if you read Indonesian, feel free to surf to my journal entry "Catatan Seorang Perantau" for my further thoughts on this movie and what I think today's intelligent young generation should learn from it. www.myspace.com/graceclarissa
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