1. I am grateful to Chuck Kleinhans for his suggestions for strengthening this essay. [return to page 1]

2. There were some pro and contra positions related to this marriage. "Polygamy is halal (allowed in Islam). Extramarital affairs are haram (forbidden)," said one of their posters, according to the Internet site below. Moments later, another group of women marched at the same location, shouting anti-polygamy slogans. They chanted to the tune of a well-known children's song:

"One, I love my mother. Two, I love my father. Three, I love my brothers and sisters. One, two, three, I reject polygamy."

Please check: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/

On the fall of Aa’ Gym, James B Hoesterey writes:

"Heartbroken and betrayed, his followers staged a backlash and the event became a national scandal. Infotainment shows and gossip magazines circulated stories of female followers who shredded his pictures, boycotted his television shows, and cancelled weekend pilgrimages to his Islamic school and ‘spiritual tourism’ complex, Daarut Tauhiid (DT). Pressured by hundreds of protest text messages, SBY ordered a review of the national marriage law. Gymnastiar lost his pending television contracts; his business empire started to crumble, and DT became a ghost town."

Please check: http://www.insideindonesia.org/

3. Islam Religion, 27 February, 2009.
http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/325 .

6. Islam Religion, 27 February 2009.

7. Gerakan Reformasi (Reformation Movement) was a popular rebellion that gave rise to an enormous change in the political situation of Indonesia: the downfall of President Suharto’s regime (1966-1998) in May 1998. In political terms, the Reformation demanded greater democracy, honesty and accountability in public life, and policies that secure people’s welfare (Budiman (eds.) 1999: 73)

9. Wikipedia, 26 February 2009.

11. Kusrini, Asmayani. “Selamat untuk Nia Dinata!” ("Congratulations to Nia Dinata") in Rumahfilm.org, November 12th 2007.

12. Dinata also makes social statements through her portrayal of how people handled the tsunami. For example, she tells about finding trusted donation institutions, or pointing out some political leaders or celebrities who use the issues for their own popularity by asking journalist to go with them.

13. “Pengantar ke Dunia Film” ("An Introduction to Film World") in Usmar Ismail Mengupas Film (Usmar Ismail on Film). Jakarta: Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 1986, second edition. My translation. [return to page 2 ]

14. Quoted in Polygamy Phenomenon in Love for Share, Indonesia, dir. Nia Dinata, 2006. In an interview written in English, Dinata said:

"I’ve been observing the phenomenon of polygamy in my country since I was in my pre-teen years. A lot of women in my family discussed it and I often eavesdropped. I saw sadness in their eyes and they accepted the condition although when it came to discussing it among women they trust, they were able to tell their true feelings and disappointments. I guess this mades me curious and my concern grew until I decided I had to write a script about it and direct this film."

There are also similar statements in the DVD documentary. See:

15. This situation affirms Karl Heider’s theory in Indonesian Cinema, National Culture on Screen. When discussing the basic moral conflict of a culture, Heider wrote that instead of good-evil binary position, Indonesian films prefer binaries of order-disorder. He highlights the fact that Indonesian movies usually do not have bad guys.

“The Indonesian figures create disorder, confusion, chaos … Order and disorder. This is the key to much of Indonesian life” (Heider, Karl. Indonesian Cinema, National Culture on Screen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1991, p 35).



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Internet references












Rumahfilm.org, November 12th 2007.




Berbagi Suami (Love for Share, Indonesia, dir. Nia Dinata, 2006)

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