Max Havelaar


Well-Known Member
Charter Member
Aug 4, 2016
I just watched the film Max Havelaar, referenced by Jstar , which is well worth seeing for anyone interested in the history of the Dutch in Indonesia. Came across it quite accidentally and confess to never having heard of it or of Max Havelaar but I gather it is a subject that comes up in the Indonesian school system.

The film is based on a famous novel written in 1860 by Eduard Douwes Dekker. (Wikipedia quotes Indonesian novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer who argued that by triggering these educational reforms, Max Havelaar was in turn responsible for the nationalist movement that ended Dutch colonialism in Indonesia after 1945, and which was instrumental in the call for decolonization in Africa and elsewhere in the world.")

The film is a high standard production made in 1976 but was not allowed to be shown in Indonesia until 1987. Dutch and Indonesian languages are complemented by English subtitles.



Mr. 10,000
Jul 31, 2016
The movie is a bit ‘slow’ according to modern day standards but the moment you get through that, it’s not bad. And hey, always good to practice a bit of BI and archaic Dutch.

The book where it’s based on from Multatuli (Douwes Dekker’s writer alias) is practically compulsory material for Dutch high school students.

One of the most famous Indonesian heroes (yes, that is an official title and with a rather well defined election process) is of course Setiabudi. And that is the alias of Ernest Douwes Dekker, the activist for Indonesian independence from Euro-Asian descent. He was the cousin of Eduard.

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