WED Forum: Feminism and Women Film Directors in Post-New Order Indonesia




The presentation derived from my chapter with the similar title from a book edited by Yvonne Michalik, Indonesian Women Filmmakers, published in the end of 2013. This chapter is derived from my PhD research on women film directors and their films in post-New Order Indonesian Cinema. It deals with the subjectivity of women directors in relation to gender and feminism based on my interviews with 28 women directors I conducted during November 2009-April 2010. There were three groups of responses to questions posed about how their gender influenced their self-perception as film directors. The first group stated that there was no difference between women film directors and their male counterparts. The second argued that the identity of women automatically came to the foreground of being a film director. The third group saw differences between female and male film directors in specific situations. There were also three groups of responses to questions about feminism: some identified as feminist; some saw themselves as feminist but with qualifications; and some were not feminist. Those who claimed that they were not feminists, seem to have been trapped into a negative image of the term  “feminist”. Indeed, these women directors did not share a common understanding of feminism.



xxNovi Kurnia is a lecturer in the Department of Communication Science, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, at Universitas Gadjah Mada. She have just finished her doctoral study from the Department of Women’s Studies at Flinders University, South Australia. Her thesis is about women directors and their films in post-New Order Indonesia. Her interest mainly about Indonesian media, cinema, and gender.




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