Jakarta. The producers of Bumi Manusia, or This Earth of Mankind the movie, a long-awaited adaptation of Pramoedya Ananta Toer's 1980 classic leftist novel based on the life of Tirto Adhi Soerjo, the father of Indonesian journalism, released the film's first official theatrical poster on Wednesday.
"We hope the poster can convey some of the depth of Pramoedya's story," Falcon Pictures producer Frederica said during a press conference at a XXI Cinema in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Director Hanung Bramantyo expressed his gratitude for being a part of the historic film.
"Today, a small part of Bumi Manusia is presented to the public. A poster that I personally didn't even think my name would be on it. It's a dream come true," he said.
Iqbaal Ramadhan, who played the protagonist Minke, said playing the legendary character required him to shed his own personality.
"I can now explain about Minke better than I can about Iqbaal. Acting for me is not just playing a character, but also becoming the character. To become Minke I had to face many challenges, but that's the responsibility of an actor: to let go of himself," he said.
Mawar De Jongh, who plays Minke's indo (half-Dutch) girlfriend Annelies, said her experience shooting the film was exhilarating.
"I'm so glad to get the opportunity to act alongside Iqbaal and Sha Ine [Febryanti]. I met so many new friends on the set," she said.
Sha Ine Febryanti plays the matriarch Nyai Ontosoroh, Annelies' strong-headed mother. She said playing the character can be draining, but also very fulfilling.
"Maybe it's because I'm used to going full-on into a character on [the theater] stage. It consumes a lot of your energy when you do the same thing shooting a movie," she said.
The film, a period piece set in the Dutch East Indies in the beginning of last century, also stars Ayu Laksmi, Donny Damara, Bryan Domani, Giorgino Abraham and Jerome Kurniawan.
The script was written by Salman Aristo. Salman has been nominated three times for Indonesia's highest film honor, the Citra Award, but has yet to win.
He is well known for adapting best-selling novels into blockbuster movies, including Ayat-Ayat Cinta (Verses of Love), Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops) and Sang Penari (The Dancer).
Bumi Manusia, which will be around three hours long, will play in theaters on Aug. 15.
It is one of the most anticipated films this year in Indonesia. The original novel was the first book in Pramoedya's epic Buru Quartet, a leftist paean of early modern Indonesia written during the writer's illegal incarceration on Buru Island.