Feature and Follow: Book-to-Movie Adaptations


July 21, 2016 by Zoë

I watched the film Sang Penari before I read the book, and to be honest I haven’t read the book in Indonesian yet, though it’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. The original is actually a trilogoy, now usually collected into one volume, by Ahmad Tohari. The story follows Srintil, a young girl who becomes her village’s ronggeng. Unbeknownst to her, however, her village is about to be swept up first by communism and then by the violent backlash that occurred in Indonesia during the 1960’s. Complicating matters is Rasus, another villager, who has joined the army and is helping to exterminate communists.

The film and the book differ slightly, particularly in how they end and in the mental state of Srintil, but I enjoyed both. The cinematography in the film is also gorgeous. This perhaps isn’t the best book or movie to introduce the subject of 1965 in Indonesia, but both are still definitely worth checking out if you can find versions that you understand.

I had had Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro on my to-read list for a very long time before I noticed that a film version was coming out starring Carey Mulligan. That was enough of a reason for me to bump the book up on my list, and I read the book and watched the film in quick succession.

Both are quiet, though emotional, stories. Some scenes in the film make much more sense if you’ve read the book first, but both are quite enjoyable. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but suffice to say this is about three friends and the complicated issues they have as they move through life. It also delves into questions of ethics, though leaves the answers entirely up to the reader.

Meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee.


8 thoughts on “Feature and Follow: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

  1. I haven’t watch or read any of these stories. They seem very interesnting, though.

  2. priyankaswonderland says:

    I hadn’t heard about both the books/movies but they sound interesting!! Especially Never Let Me Go.
    New Follower.
    Here’s My FF

  3. The Author says:

    Ooh, Sang Penari sounds interesting.I’m always interesting in expanding the cultures and historical time periods in which I read. Are there subtitles in the movie, and is there an English translation of the book you would recommend?

    A new WordPress follower!
    Bloodthirsty Muses

  4. I’ve never heard of these books, let alone the films. Thanks for enlightening me!

  5. I really want to watch Never Let Me Go, but I want to read the book first…

    My FF

  6. Congrats on listing two Book/Movies that no one else did! I’ve only read one Ishiguro book. I feel like I was too young to appreciate it. I should retry his novels.

  7. I’ve read Never Let Me Go, but haven’t seen the film. While the book isn’t a favourite of mine, it certainly brings up lots of thought-provoking questions to ponder. Just checked out the trailer, and I think I’ll have to watch it soon!


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