Christmas 2013

Hello guys, how has Christmas been for you? I think I ate way too much. Met up with la Gioia for a christmas lunch and it was great to do so. I didn't feel so pathetically alone on the most wonderful time of the year. We went to Jamie Oliver's restaurant here, Jamie's Italian. I hadn't been to VivoCity for a really long time and some things have really changed. It was a hit and miss in Jamie's Italian. At first we ordered the small portion, but darn it was seriously small. So we ended up ordering another smaller portions for ourselves and we also had desserts and also shared a bruschetta. Overall it all totaled up to be quite expensive :( but I wasn't feeling full :P Though it wasn't Jamie Oliver who was cooking, it was interesting to see what kind of food he makes and how they taste. My vongole tagliolini was great, I love it though la Gioia thought it was on the salty side. For my second meal, I had prawn linguine and that for real was extremely salty. My panna cotta was great though. Will I go again? Perhaps, but I guess for now curiosity is fulfilled.

So yesterday evening, I decided to watch The Act of Killing which I accidentally stumbled into some weeks ago. I forget what I was googling at the time that caused me to end up to this. It's a documentary about the people who committed countless, hundreds of murder of people suspected to be communist during the communism purge in Indonesia in 1965. Before the bloody reformation period in Indonesia in 1998, Indonesian tv actually had to show a propaganda film every year about how the communists were evil and how the military at the time led by Soeharto managed to eradicate them all. That basically gave credence for him to assume power as President. I personally have never watched the film because it's scary and I could never (still cannot) watch any scary movies. I would end up not being able to sleep and had to go sleep with my parents in the middle of the night. I remember a school trip to Lubang Buaya, where the bodies of important military generals allegedly killed by the communist were dumped, gave me nightmares for 2-3 days. So anyway, after 1998 and President Soeharto resigned, all things started to surface in Indonesia, including about a different version how 1965 went down. There's some conspiracy theory like how the CIA basically supported the coup by President Soeharto at that time. So instead of a coup by the communist, it was a coup by Soeharto with American backing. I guess America didn't want to see more countries becoming communists, especially with Vietnam war already in their hands. Was our President Soekarno at that time intent on making us a communist country? My history knowledge is not that deep to answer that. Perhaps he just felt the west was pretty arrogant and so he wasn't friendly to them. Anyway back to the documentary, The Act of Killing, the maker was curious when he met these killers that they were proud and not remorseful about what they did. So he asked if they would like to do a reenactment of what they did for a movie in whatever style and genre they would like. Their ideas were pretty funky. At 2.5 hours, it's pretty long. It seems that if you're in Indonesia, you can download this movie for free from their website. I watched the International version though with English subtitle which I thought wasn't precise at some parts. I think they should have just kept the word "preman" instead of translating them to "gangster", that would make the connection to "free man" more easily understood. That was the first time I heard of that actually. Anyway, this documentary is critically acclaimed and has won many awards. It's pretty draining mentally. As an Indonesian watching it, what I felt was anger and sadness and more anger, basically a lot of anger. Not to what happened in the past (why I was even slightly sympathetic to one of the killers when he felt tormented towards the end of the documentary), but more into how corrupts and morally rotten the people in power are. I was boiling mad seeing the Chinese vendors in the market being harassed for money and this is their reality, that's what happens to them and many others in Indonesia on a daily basis. It's sad seeing that these are the people who are in charge of our country. I think of people like me and my peers who have all these idealistic. There will be times when my generation will be taking over and some of them are already do and I do really hope that we can do better for our country, but I do wonder if being in the system will change who you are. One corruption case in Indonesia that got me really asking this is the case with former beauty queen Angelina Sondakh. I asked this to Oshie once if being inside the corrupt system will just change who you are. I wonder. We need cleaner, more sincere people. This documentary is seriously honest in its approach. The people being interviewed, who openly expressed their rotten ideals knew they're talking to the camera and it'll be in the film and they were pretty comfortable with it all. There's some undeniable truth in this movie. One of the killer said he didn't feel guilty because he's carrying out order and I am the type of person who thinks that if you are in war, you do have to carry out order for the sake of your side. It's just unfortunate that the side he was in is a very bad one. When confronted that he committed war crimes, he explained and cited correct examples (like the war in Iraq commissioned by President Bush) that the definition of war crimes is being made by the winner. Since he's on the winning side, he could say that what he did was justifiable. It's totally correct. It's the way of the world. So while people can be enraged watching this documentary and think how messed up Indonesia is, this kinda thing happens all over the world, not just in Indonesia. That makes you really sad, no? Another thing that was rather troubling was the many anonymous in the crew list. These are the Indonesians whose identity had to be hidden for the sake of their protection. Hope they'll feel alright and satisfied they had bring up a story that needed to be heard.

Casryn said I watched such a heavy movie for Christmas eve. I guess I did. Today I watched something nice though, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Love it so much. It's not really comedic if that's what you expect from a Ben Stiller's movie. It's more drama and for me I did choose to watch it to be inspired. Feeling rather sad having to do things alone but since it's the reality of my life, I really need to go out there and not just hide in my hole just because I don't feel like doing things alone. Ben Stiller is looking pretty handsome here. Well I have always felt he's quite good looking since Meet the Parents. Just checked Wikipedia, darn that movie was in 2000, it's been more than a decade! Altogether now, aaarrghhhh!!! Anyway The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is pretty good and the scenes were all so pretty. I correctly guessed what the final picture would be, but it was more beautiful than I thought it would be. The clue, ghost cat Walter Mitty was pretty spot on. Love Ben Stiller in this and love how first and foremost it was about his character exploring the world and not the love story. Yes his crush to the girl was a source of comfort, but above all it's mostly about him. I find it rather interesting, funny perhaps, that just one small thing can be the trigger to spur you to do extraordinary things and I think more often that not it is the case, the small thing, the so called straw that break the camel's back and speaking of that I was reminded of the version of that phrase in french that Mr. N kindly told us, c'est la goutte d'eau qui fait déborder le vase, the one drop of water that overflow the vase. I do recommend you guys to watch this movie and I personally really feel the lines below that the movie is telling us over and over. Have a good one last few days (in 2013) guys :)

"To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to ... to draw closer ... to see and be amazed. That is the purpose of LIFE."

:) eKa @ 10:23:00 PM •

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