7 Indonesian movies that are appreciated globally

Indonesian movies are known for their wide variety of genres, ranging from romance and gore to horror. These movies have interesting storylines and great acting, which have given them worldwide recognition (most of them can be viewed on online streaming platforms.) So if you are culturally curious, then count on the following movies to add to your weekend entertainment quotient:

Habibie and Ainun
This movie is based on Indonesia’s third president B. J. Habibie and his wife Hasri Ainun Habibie’s love life, and the memoir he wrote about her. The movie has swoon-worthy settings, as it is shot across the picturesque landscapes of Indonesia and Germany. Habibie is an aircraft engineer, and Ainun, a doctor. The movie describes how the couple strives to achieve their dreams. You can stream this movie on Netflix.

Ada Apa Dengan Cinta
Globally known as What’s Up With Love?, this movie was released in the early 2000s and became an instant hit among teenagers. It focuses on Cinta, its protagonist, and her complicated romantic relationship with Rangga. The movie gracefully showcases the struggles of teenagers, their friendships, and mental health issues. While it is one of the most popular Indonesian movies, Ada Apa Dengan Cinta is also remembered widely for its soundtracks.

Laskar Pelangi
Laskar Pelangi or The Rainbow Troops is a quintessential Indonesian movie. It is based on a book written by Andrea Hirata with the same title. The movie is a coming-of-age story of a group of students from a beautiful Indonesian village and their struggles to achieve their big dreams. It also subtly highlights social issues, such as poverty and corruption. The movie is shot in scenic locations across Indonesian islands, which makes it all the more enthralling. You can stream this on Hotstar as well as MSN.

Daun di Atas Bantal
Globally known as Leaf on a Pillow, this is a critically acclaimed film that shines a spotlight on the struggles of children living in poverty. These kids lead rather tough lives on the streets, as they make ends meet through illegal hustles like selling marijuana. What sets the movie apart is the fact that the makers roped in local street children instead of cast actors, lending the whole story a sense of authenticity.

Berbagi Suami
Berbagi Suami or Love for Share has won several national and international awards. The movie highlights the issues attached to polygamy, a situation that has been on the rise in Indonesia. It is a story of three women from different cultures and ethnicities, whose husband practises polygamy. It depicts the issue from a woman’s perspective, elaborating how the three cope with it.

The Raid
If you are looking for some adrenaline-pumping flick for the weekend, then this movie should top your list. The Raid is a story of a special force team that is on a mission to apprehend a brutal gang from their hideout, which is a dilapidated multistorey building. It has some of the most riveting fight scenes that showcases pencak silat, Indonesia’s traditional martial arts. It entered the American box office and became one of the most watched films there, and also promoted Indonesia’s martial arts in many Western countries. You can watch this movie on Amazon Prime.

Perempuan Tanah Jahanam
Indonesia is also known for its no-holds-barred horror movies, a classic example being Perempuan Tanah Jahanam or Impetigore. The movie is about Maya, a woman who is on a pursuit to unearth the history of her deceased parents and her ancestral village in Java, only to realize that she is the epicenter of a curse that has tormented the village for many years.