Jakarta. After "Opera Jawa," or "Requiem from Java," in 2006, director Garin Nugroho returns to musicals with "Salesi," an adaptation of "Mangir," a play written by the late Pramoedya Ananta Toer.
Mangir is a Machiavellian story set in Wanabaya, Central Java, as the kingdom wages war against the Mataram empire.
In "Salesi," Garin modifies the Javanese tale by inserting elements that represent cultures from across the Asia-Pacific region. According to Garin, who returned to Jakarta on Monday after filming in Hawaii, the film is currently in the editing process. It runs for 30 minutes and features dancers from Indonesia, Japan and Hawaii.
"Salesi is a Hawaiian name, because the play by Pram is titled after a Javanese name. It is a love triangle tragedy with a power struggle in the background, which always makes for an interesting story," he said.
This film is dedicated to celebrating the 25th anniversary of NETPAC, the Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema, a Colombo-based pan-Asian film and cultural organization for critics, filmmakers, festival organizers and curators from 30 member countries.
"If we can finish editing in time, I will perhaps screen this film at the JAFF [Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival] next week," said Garin, who is also the festival's president.
Garin recently finished filming "Setan Jawa," his silent, black-and-white movie funded by the Melbourne orchestra.
Garin's next feature is "On the Edge of Solitude," with a script written by himself and featuring Bunga Citra Lestari in the lead role. Filming will begin February next year.