After the Curfew @ Arc Cinema


Filmmaker and writer Usmar Ismal (1921-1971) is a treasured pioneer of Indonesian national culture, one of the first great artists of the independent nation, but also a detached and sometimes critical observer of the social and cultural price paid for nationhood. Despite this status, he’s little heard of in neighbouring Australia (although his 1955 film Exalted Guest had some retrospective screenings in the 1980s). Even in Indonesia, few prints of his films survive and his name is becoming unfamiliar to younger Indonesian filmmakers. For the reason, the restoration of his 1954 film about the struggles of independence fighters to reintegrate back into the new, civilian nation has become a major event in Indonesia. It’s the first classic of its national cinema to be fully restored in Indonesia. Even more excitingly, it’s then been re-released in Indonesian commercial cinemas, to new critical claim and box office success. Restored through an international collaboration between film archives in Singapore, Jakarta and Italy, this is an Australian premiere opportunity to discover both the cinema heritage of our neighbour and the latest film to emerge from the Martin Scorsese-supported World Cinema Foundation – a project to preserve the classic films of some of world cinema’s lesser-familiar national cinemas.


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