'Gender and Islam in Indonesian Cinema' provides the context behind the rise of Islamic popular culture in Indonesia and offers critical insights into the gendered ethics of 'Islamic Cinema' in a globalising world. For Muslim audiences, films with a wholesome Islamic message are thought to have a didactic effect and turn viewers into better Muslims. In the post 9/11 world, Islamic cinema is meant to project images of Muslims as peaceful and democratic people. While serviceable, these arguments about what Islamic cinema is and should be are inadequate when one begins to consider the range of subjects and opposing ideological and political views featured in Indonesian films with Islamic themes. Furthermore, ‘Islamic cinema’ as pure didactism and propaganda assumes the passivity of its intended audiences. ‘Islamic cinema’ may indeed have a transformative effect on its audience but not always those intended by its producers.
This book unpacks and examines the meaning of the history of the 'Islamic' in cinema and filmmaking practices in Indonesia. It does so by arguing that gender politics runs through the making and consumption of Islamic cinema in Indonesia. Offering cutting edge accounts of the production of Islamic cinema, this book considers the gendered dimensions of Islamic media creation which further enrich the representations of the 'religious' and the 'Islamic' in the everyday lives of Muslims in South East Asia.