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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Film review: At Stake

Iwan Setiawan/ Muhammad Ichsan/ Lucky Kuswandi/ Ucu Agustin/ Ani Ema Susanti, Indonesia

This eye-opening film is a composition of four documentaries showing the difficulties which women face in Indonesia. The first documentary probes into the lives of women who are forced to work as immigrant domestic workers in Hong Kong due to the lack of employment in Indonesia.

The second documentary reveals the religious beliefs as well as the contradictions of the practice of female circumcision. It’s a perfect educational film that could show the dangers of this practice and help end it. The third shows a younger generation of women with access to a modern lifestyle but without permission to visit a gynecologist unless they are married. The film uses a hidden camera to question the ridiculous logic that dictates why a doctor cannot attend to an unmarried women. The fourth film was the most poignant and dives into the life of a woman who leads a double life to feed her children: by day she breaks stone and by night she is a prostitute working on an ancient Chinese hilltop cemetery. I was surprised when one of the directors explained that they had to switch films to get the approval of the censorship board in order to travel outside the country with this controversial documentary.

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