Children of Srikandi
Anak-Anak Srikandi

DIRECTOR: The Children of Srikandi Collective

Expected guests: directors Laura Coppens, Stea Lim

The mythical figure of Srikandi is the inspiration and role model for this anthology of stories on the state of alternate sexualities in Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata, Srikandi was a great warrior of indeterminate gender, both man and woman. Srikandi’s love for the woman Larasati is enacted in sequences from the wayang kulit, or shadow puppet play, by a transgender puppeteer and singer duo with haunting expressiveness.

Eight different stories, all woven together by the end, comprise the first film by queer women about queer women in Indonesia. We meet Dian, who lived on the streets because she was thrown out of the house for being a lesbian. After a harrowing period of harassment and torture by police and a male religious group, she now lives a more stable life as a law student. Others describe the insidious psychological violence from within their own kind. A lesbian applying for a job dramatizes the probing, invasive questions that can destroy her chances at employment. Edith describes her gradual transformation from jilbabed (veiled) Islamic devotion to a “mind boggling” philosophical epiphany that paralleled her growing affection for another woman. We see lesbians searching for their identities among adopted families, chatrooms, dance clubs and shopping malls. In the final sequence “No Label,” women holding signs saying 99% LESBIAN, ANDRO FEMME and PANSEXUAL playfully interrogate each other and let their labels fall to the ground.

— FRAKO LODEN

In Indonesian and English with English subtitles.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D205


Co-presented by:
Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women & Transgender Community

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