Today's Book and Film Review will review an Indonesian film entitled "Moonrise Over Egypt" directed by Pandu Adiputra. Moonrise Over Egypt is an historic-suspense movie about Indonesian history and was released in 2018. An important event in Indonesian history about struggle to gain de jure recognition is rarely exposed. Behind this event, there was a thrilling drama full of espionage and political intrigues.
This film reveals that event explicitly was based on a deep historic research. The film that was made by experienced hands became a bright spot for Indonesians to see the other side of Indonesian independence history. Indonesian people will also be able to know more about the figures whose names are now used for street names in several cities in Indonesia, including Jakarta. Despite of few research results being found, Pandu keeps moving forward with his works. Pandu explain about his film.
“…Moonrise over Egypt is clearly about sovereignty, love, and betrayal. The big story is about four delegates fighting for recognition of sovereignty. What we are telling in this film is apparently a part of August 17 1945.” He said.
With idealism and honed skills, this film was made to add more lists of good-quality Indonesian films. It is also a new knowledge for Indonesian people, because the struggle of the then Indonesian politicians did not stop after Indonesia proclaimed its independence. The name of Agus Salim is often heard, but not many Indonesians know well who he is. Playing Agus Salim, Pritt Timothy certainly must know who Agus Salim is.
“…Agus Salim is a national hero who persistently defended the independence of Indonesia, who loved it without self-interest but only for the unity of Indonesia. He is also very clever, diplomatic, and he masters 12 languages, but he lived without looking for fame. Yet, Agus Salim dared to face anyone for the sake of truth and the country.” He said.
Since 2012, many Indonesian directors have made films about Indonesian heroes. Apparently, Indonesians love historic-suspense films. Therefore, many Indonesian moviemakers created historic films about Indonesian heroes. Although it sounds like making use of such condition, Indonesian moviemakers did a good job in introducing historic figures who rarely appear in Indonesian history books. Such a positive thing must be supported by Indonesian people and government.
Historic research had been conducted long time before the script was made. Even, Husni Husein, an Indonesian historian also helped the research for this movie. Nevertheless, the research result was still adjusted to fiction in various stories, so that the film will still be entertaining. One of Moonrise Over Egypt producers, Adie Marzuki explained the importance of historic films.
“…I was scared, but it cannot stop us, more overly we believe that we are conveying important values. Therefore, we ask for help from the stakeholders and Indonesian people who believe that values in historic films are important.” He said.
Ade Marzuki added, he collected stories data from official resources, including from Indonesian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt as well as from Historia magazine editorial. Pandu Adiputra as the director admitted that he implemented and executed the scripts into film carefully. It took 15 days of shooting in Jakarta and 10 other days in Egypt. He hoped to be able to present the situation of Jakarta and Cairo in 1940s to the audience. This 113-minute film is also able to provide historic knowledge for Indonesian people.