Between Adoration and Criticism Towards Japanese Colonialism:Reception Toward Murudeka 17805 Movie in Indonesia

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This research study on how a collaborative war movie between Indonesia and Japan entitled Murudeka 17805 (2001) is received in Indonesia. Through content analysis of the movie, it is found that this movie depicts the intimate yet hierarchical relation between Indonesia and Japan, whereas Japan acts as the elder sibling who guides and will transfer their knowledge and skills to Indonesia, so that Indonesia may be able to fight against the colonizers. This is in line with the ideology of Greater East Asian War, termed “Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” Through the comments analysis of YouTube viewers, the result shows that there are comments expressing gratitude and adoration toward Indonesian and Japanese soldiers who had fought in the battlefield, and on the other hand there are also comments criticizing Japanese colonialization and arguing that the movie itself is a propaganda movie. The number of comments expressing gratitude and adoration and expressing neutrality by inviting the readers to forget about the past is larger than the number of comments criticizing the movie. The result of this study shows that this phenomenon is related to several factors:younger generation who never experienced Japanese occupation, the history lessons in schools which focusing more on memorizing events rather than critically reflecting on the past, the act of silencing critics toward Japan by Indonesian government in 1970s, and the massive spread of Japanese pop culture in Indonesia since 1990s. Although the number is not as high as grateful and adoring comments, comments that have critical reflection toward the movie still exists. The commentators are usually those who have heard stories about Japanese occupation in the past from the previous generation or have learned about it from various sources of knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-106
Number of pages20
JournalBorder Crossings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022


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