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
Official submission of Indonesia the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 78th Academy Awards in 2006. See more »
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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A good attempt of non-documentary biography from Indonesia
The first thing in my mind after watching this movie was INTERPRETATION IS LEGAL!!
If you found this movie was disappointed then the diary which this movie was based on, was also disappointed since it only had fragment of events instead of Soe Hok Gie's mind. The director has tried to add some fictional character (at least 3) to dramatize the story but the result was not as good as I expected.
Removing three girls and adding two fictional girls in the name of the romance won't get any praise from me. When (if you read the diary) the real Gie was a platonist and he couldn't tell anyone, even him self, whether he loved one or more of those three girls, in the movie, Gie were able to determine he loved one of those two fictional girls.
Adding 'Chin Han' in the movie could be a good decision. Chin Han was representation of grass-root people, especially they who were actually blind in politic world but naively support a party. If only Riri Riza stopped after the scene when Chin Han was kidnapped in the dawn of Soeharto's era, this movie would not be a tendentious movie.
Removing the detail of the scene when Gie met Soekarno, especially the dialog, was the part which really disappointed me. Instead of showing how Gie accused Soekarno as immoral president (as he described in his diary), Riri Riza presented a story of a too-large-jacket which worn by Gie in Istana Presiden (President's Palace). Was Riri afraid of Soekarno's supporter? Whatever the reason is, the scene was disappointed, just as "Soekarno met Marhaen" scene in Yayasan Anak Bangsa's Soekarno which was released three years before.
Gie was shown as most-perfect man in this movie and nobody else in the movie as perfect as he was. He had respect to woman. He was an idealist. But in reality, he was just a naive (and some times naughty) young lad. He watched the porn movie (he admitted himself in the diary). He had a serious discussion with Ong Hok Kam (also bright student) who unfortunately, Riza reduce his name to "one of Gie's friend".
The movie version of Gie wasn't a real Gie.. Well, at least, it didn't close to my interpretation of Gie. However, as I said in the beginning, "interpretation is legal"
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