Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-mqrwx Total loading time: 0.356 Render date: 2022-12-04T21:27:26.244Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

5 - Two Films and a Coronation: The Containment of Islam in Flores in the 1920s

from Part II - Missionary Films and Christian Evangelism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2017

Sandeep Ray
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Ian Aitken
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Baptist University
Camille Deprez
Affiliation:
Hong Kong Baptist University
Get access

Summary

In January 1931, the evening edition of De Tijd, a Dutch newspaper covering religious and political stories, carried a report about a coronation ceremony in Ruteng, Flores Island, Eastern Indonesia (De Tijd 1 May 1931). It was organised for the first Catholic king of Flores, the young Alexander Baroek. The article described the solemnity of the historic event and its accompanying pomp and rituals. Among these were the very unexpected projections of films by a Dutch pastor named Simon Buis. The reporter recorded the astonished reactions of the local population. In 1930, Flores was far from urban centres of the Netherlands East Indies and distanced from the many advancements of modernity and technology, including movie theatres. This essay explores the pioneering cinematic work of Simon Buis, a Dutch Catholic priest-turnedfilm-maker, and the political underpinnings of his innovative evangelical efforts. The films Buis produced are significant because they provide us with unique visual coverage of a greatly under-studied region of the former East Indies during an era of Dutch colonial re-expansion.

JOURNEY TO FLORES

The Societas Verbi Divini (SVD), the denomination that Simon Buis belonged to, was a Catholic group founded in 1875 in Steyl, in the south of the Netherlands, by Arnold Janssen during the Kulturkampf – a rising wave of secularism that greatly reduced the power of the Roman Catholic Church in Prussia. In exile but still influential, it comprised many German and Dutch priests and had a penchant for the close study of diverse cultures. During the early 1920s, Brother Berchmans, an SVD priest from the Netherlands, was impressed with the evangelical films his mission had commissioned in the Congo and in Uganda. Supported by his diocese, Berchmans approached German film-maker Willy Rach to create non-fictional works in China. When that enterprise proved to be politically risky, Rach lobbied instead for permission to film in the East Indies, and Arnold Verstraelen, the bishop in charge of the mission in Flores, gave his consent.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2017

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×