Selasa, 25 Januari 2011



Dalam bahasa Inggris judulnya WAR VICTIMS (1985)

Dalam masa akhir penjajahan Jepang, Amelia (Marissa Haque) adalah salah satu wanita yang ditahan bersama dengan wanita lainnya di suatu kamp tahanan. Ia selalu berusaha menjalin hubungan dengan para pejuang, gerilyawan Indonesia yang dipimpin Kapten Slamet (Jeffri Sani). Sebagai salah satu taktiknya, ia berhasil dekat dengan Letnan Nakamura (Boy Tirayoh), keduanya saling jatuh cinta, hingga Amelia hamil. Kewibawaan Nakamura dirusak oleh para anak buahnya sendiri, Sersan Tukigawa (Mangara Siahaan) dan Kopral Seikeki (Avent Christie) yang suka mempermainkan wanita tahanan. Ketika Sekutu menyerang Amelia tidak menyia-nyiakan kesempatan. pada saat itu pula para pejuang kemerdekaan datang menyerbu dan membebaskan para tawanan. Korban pun berjatuhan, demikian pula dengan Amelia kehilangan kekasihnya, karena Nakamura memilih harakiri.

- Some
may view this as a standard Indonesian sleaze epic, but they would only be partially correct. This film actually makes a strong political statement about patriotism and the willingness to suffer greatly for your cause. During World War II, an Indonesian girl named Amelia (Marissa Haque) is sent to an all-female P.O.W. camp, run by brutal Japanese soldiers, after watching her rebel opposition boyfriend get riddled with bullets by the Japs. Once at the camp, she and the other women are subjected to sadistic torture and sexual abuse by the male guards. Amelia, who is pregnant, loses her baby during one such torture session, but she refuses to give up hope (She says, "Freedom must be earned. We must be willing to sacrifice everything else in our life for it."). When the Allies bomb the camp from the air (and accidentally kill one of the women), a visiting Japanese General theorizes that one of the female prisoners must be a spy (it's Amelia) since the camp
is also a secret ammunition depot (One of the female prisoners steps out of formation, rips open her blouse and shows the General her hideously deformed breasts, the product of the camp's torture techniques. The General is so disgusted by what he sees, he orders her to be shot! His orders are carried out immediately.). Amelia is raped the next day by the camp's most brutal guard, Sgt, Tukigawa. When she reports it to the camp's commander, Nokamura (the only Japanese soldier here depicted as having anything close to a conscience), he tells Amelia that without corroboration, there's nothing he can do. When two of his guards are killed by mistake (one is shot and killed by his own buddy when his gun discharges accidentally), Nokamura has no choice but to force the women to stand in the blazing sun with no water.

One of the women goes mad with heatstroke and is shot dead trying to escape by climbing over the camp's barbwire fence. Amelia and most of the women come up with a plan for escape and attempt it one night when Nokamura is away (He's actually at headquarters pleading for better treatment of his
prisoners!). They fail miserably, as some of the women are shot, one is attacked by a huge snake, another steps on an explosive boobytrap and some are electrocuted on the camp's fence. Amelia then becomes Nokamura's lover, which pisses-off the rest of the female prisoners. Is Amelia simply pretending until the right time comes along for her to strike or is her love for Nokamura real? It seems it's a little of both, as Amelia ends up pregnant with Nokamura's baby, but when the rebels storm the camp and free the women, Nokamura commits hara-kiri rather than being captured. Once again, Amelia is left alone and pregnant, only this time she can raise her child in freedom. WAR VICTIMS (a.k.a. KAMP TAWANAN WANITA) will find no favor with Japanese viewers thanks to their depiction here. All the Nippons, besides Nokamura, are portrayed as maniacal laughing rapists who view the women in the camp as disposable playthings to be used, abused and then killed with hardly an afterthought. The scene where Nokamura leaves the camp to plead with his superiors for humane treatment of his female prisoners, only to be rebuffed, shamed and then told that these women are nothing but cattle and are the spoils of war for the Japanese soldiers to rape, cements the film's political agenda. Director Jopi Burnama (FEROCIOUS FEMALE FREEDOM FIGHTERS - 1982; the amazing THE INTRUDER - 1986), working with a script written by brother Piet Burnama, doesn't skimp on the sleazier aspects of P.O.W. life (there's rape, humiliation, whippings, hangings and brandings), but there's more to this film than sleaze. Burnama shows what it really means to suffer for freedom (most Americans could learn something here), even if the beginning of the film is a little overblown, where we hear a bombastic narrator say, "War is a thrilling and glorious thing only to those that have never experienced it in reality!" and he then goes on even longer giving us examples why! The film closes with the same narrator saying, "And this is war! A Hell on Earth! Will the madmen of the world ever learn this lesson?", followed by a stream of children dressed in white walking across the landscape while "The Beginning" is flashed on-screen.

A little heavy-handed? Yes, but it does make it's point rather effectively. The script has a little more meat on it's bones than most Indonesian genre films, but it doesn't sacrifice those ingredients we've come to expect from out friends in the Far East: Namely, outrageous pieces of oddball dialogue ("You're a horse's ass, Mr. Stallion!"), graphic violence (bodies explode; a woman has a sword hammered through her torso while she is tied-up) and nudity.
Worth searching out. Also starring Boy Tirayoh, Mangara Siahaan, Farida Ciptadi, Jeffi Sani, Ivina Anwar, Advent Cristy and H. Usman Effendi. This was once available on VHS in the U.S. from Video City Productions with the nudity optically fogged. The print I viewed was sourced from a Greek-subtitled VHS tape which, in turn, looks to have been sourced from a Japanese print since all the nudity is optically fogged-out and a black band covers the bottom fifth of the screen, blocking out the Japanese subtitles and superimposing the Greek subtitles overtop them! Not Rated.

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