“This film focuses on an episode in a Javanese village during the Diponegoro War (known in Western historiography as the Javanese War), a major Indonesian rebellion against the Dutch from 1825-1830 which was ultimately suppressed. The village is divided into a faction led by the opportunistic headman, a ‘quisling,' who is cooperating with the Dutch commander, and those sympathetic to the rebels, an informal leader who is much respected for his morality and a religious teacher respected for his piety. They are all swept to their deaths by the mounting conflict. But perhaps the most interesting figure is the garrison commander whose personal inability to come to terms with his part-Indonesian heritage finds increasingly violent expression that results in his growing isolation from the village, climaxing with the triumphant arrival of the insurgent army. Uniquely Indonesian, the film is not without general implications for the characteristics of guerilla warfare against established authority.”

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