Opera Jawa

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Opera Jawa
Opera Jawa poster.jpg
The Austrian theatrical poster.
Directed by Garin Nugroho
Produced by Garin Nugroho
Simon Field
Keith Griffiths
Written by Armantono
Garin Nugroho
Starring Artika Sari Devi
Martinus Miroto
Eko Supriyanto
Music by Rahayu Supanggah
Cinematography Gay Hian Teoh
Edited by Andi Pulung Waluyo
Distributed by Trigon Film
Release date
August 7, 2006
United Kingdom:
September 7, 2007
United States:
January 15, 2008
Running time
120 minutes
Country Indonesia/Austria
Language Indonesian

Opera Jawa (Requiem from Java) is a 2006 Indonesian-Austrian musical film directed by Garin Nugroho that features traditional Javanese classical music and dance in a setting of opera that is inspired by the "Abduction of Sita" episode from the Ramayana.[1]

The film was commissioned for Peter Sellars' New Crowned Hope festival in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In addition to music by Rahayu Supanggah, the film features installation art production design by Nanang Rhamat.


Siti (Artika Sari Devi) and Setio (Martinus Miroto) are a married couple living in a small village. They were once dancers in plays depicting the Ramayana, but have since retired from the stage to sell earthenware pottery.

Siti used to play the part of Sita, the wife of Prince Rama, whom Setio portrayed. In an episode from the Ramayana, Siti becomes the object of desire of evil King Ravana and is abducted by him.

The events of the Ramayana are paralleled in the characters' real lives when Ludiro (Eko Supriyanto), a butcher who rules over all the village's business affairs, tries to seduce Siti.

Release and reception[edit]

Film festivals[edit]

Opera Jawa was one of several films commissioned by Peter Sellars for the New Crowned Hope Festival in 2006 in Vienna to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Other films commissioned for the project included I Don't Want to Sleep Alone by Tsai Ming-liang and Syndromes and a Century by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The film had its world premiere on August 7, 2006 at the Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival. It was then screened at several film festivals, including the Venice Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival and Nantes Festival of Three Continents. In 2007, its festival screenings include the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Belgrade's FEST, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Singapore International Film Festival, the Cambridge Film Festival and the Era New Horizons Film Festival.

There were theatrical releases in 2007 in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands. It received a limited theatrical release in January 2008 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.[2][3]

Critical response[edit]

The film has generated praise from critics, with a rating of 100% (fresh) on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 13 reviews.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Opera Jawa won the Best Composer award for Rahayu Supanggah at the inaugural Asian Film Awards. It was also one of six nominees for Best Film at the 1st Asian Film Awards.

It was nominated for Best Feature Film at the 2007 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

It won the Silver Screen Award for Best Film at the 2007 Singapore International Film Festival.[5]


  1. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette. January 16, 2008. [location.href?ex=1332475200&en=709faf668585ee66&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink Unrest, a love triangle and swinging hips], The New York Times; retrieved 2008-01-23
  2. ^ Opera Jawa (2006) Release dates, Internet Movie Database; retrieved 2008-01-20
  3. ^ 2008 Global Lens Selection, Rotten Tomatoes; retrieved 2008-01-20
  4. ^ Opera Jawa, Rotten Tomatoes; retrieved 2008-01-20
  5. ^ Opera Jawa (2006) Awards, Internet Movie Database; retrieved 2008-01-20

External links[edit]