Sukarno Daughter Reports Film Director for Defamation

A still from the official trailer of ‘Soekarno – Indonesia Merdeka’ published on YouTube on Sept. 12, 2013. Sukarno’s second daughter, Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, has reported the film’s director to the police for defamation. (JG screen grab)

A still from the official trailer of ‘Soekarno – Indonesia Merdeka’ published on YouTube on Sept. 12, 2013. Sukarno’s second daughter, Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, has reported the film’s director to the police for defamation. (JG screen grab)

Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, the second daughter of Sukarno, has filed a police report against prominent film director Hanung Bramantyo for alleged defamation following a spat over Hanung’s soon-to-be-released biopic about Indonesia’s first president.

Rachmawati reported Hanung to the Jakarta Police on Monday through her lawyer Ramdan Alamsyah.

“This report was filed in relation to Hanung’s statement, in which he was quoted by media as saying that Bu Rachma was seeking popularity,” Ramdan said.

“[He accused] Rachmawati of having intentionally stirred up a dispute surrounding the Sukarno movie to seek popularity. What would be that for? Ibu Rachma has been well-known for a long time, maybe even before Hanung was born,” he added.

Rachmawati, through the Soekarno Education Foundation (YPH), an organization she chairs, signed a contract with film company Multivision Plus Pictures in 2011 to collaborate on the production for “Soekarno – Indonesia Merdeka” (“Soekarno – Indonesia is Free”), with Hanung signed on as director.

This June, however, the foundation ended the partnership after Rachmawati reportedly disagreed with Hanung’s casting of Ario Bayu to play Sukarno. Ario previously starred in the 2013 action film “Java Heat.”

Rachmawati earlier suggested that actor Anjasmara play her father, but Hanung said he did not fit the role. Indonesian news portal Liputan6, meanwhile, reported that Rachmawati objected to Ario playing her father on the grounds that he was not very nationalistic and was unfamiliar with Sukarno’s story due to his living abroad.

“I chose actors based on criteria. There was only one Sukarno, and our duty is only to represent and reinterpret [him],” Hanung told a press conference in Jakarta last week, during which he responded to Rachmawati’s disapprovals.

“Maybe she [Rachmawati] wants more exposure,” Hanung said according to Liputan6.

The director also mentioned that he and Rachmawati disagreed on the film’s plot. Rachmawati reportedly wanted the movie to depict “Bung Karno” during his last days, but Hanung insisted that doing that would be “very difficult because it would create a lot of controversy.”

The film, which is slated for a December 22 release, tells the story of Sukarno’s life in the 1920s through his role in Indonesia’s struggle for independence, which culminated in 1945. It deals with his political activism as well as his personal life.

Ramdan said he and his client have been unable to contact Hanung to regarding his previous statements, so they decided to bring the case to the police.

“Up until now we haven’t been able to communicate [with Hanung],” Ramdan said. “We actually didn’t want to report this. But he has no goodwill. Hanung thinks he’s great, that he has a super power.”

In addition to Ario, the movie features Lukman Sardi and actresses Maudy Koesnaedi and Tika Bravani.

An official trailer of the movie was released earlier this month. JG

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