Living in a country with five major religions is an interesting experience. Islam being the major majority. Difference of religion is a huge topic where I come from, especially nowadays that there are more and more harassment to people with different religions. Sometimes the Muslim people are the victim, sometimes they're the culprit. Seeing people with your religious belief do things you feel immoral is just...shameful. This is not to say that other religions haven't done their fair share of harassment. More often than not, it's so hard to see, through an objective perspective, what actually happens. That's what this movie is all about. Tanda Tanya (Question Mark) is an Indonesian movie, set in a small town in the outskirts of Semarang, Central Java, showing people with different religions living as a society. It is so controversial - although fiction -, that it's been banned to be shown on TV after its premiere on silver screen.
We are introduced first with the everyday scenario of Pasar Baru, Semarang, where Muslims, Catholics and Buddhists live side by side. Their everyday lives aren't exactly peaceful and agreeable. There are time when one religion or race - since there were also Tiongkok, Chinese people who migrated to Indonesia, as well - has disputes with another. Menuk, a hijab-wearing, muslim woman, works at a Chinese restaurant, whose owner are Buddhists. She is friends with Rika, who got a divorced, turned from Islam to Catholic and has received many subtle and non-subtle criticism about her choice. Rika is friends with a Muslim actor, Surya, who she often asks to help her out with dramas at the church. Menuk, on the other hand, is married to Sholeh, who became a religious troop to protect the harmony of all religions in the area. The story revolves around these people. And what could possibly go wrong?
Note the fact that this movie is controversial, from religious aspects. Oh, don't be too serious about it, though. The time my friends and I watched it, we couldn't stop laughing. This movie was a set of booby-traps of jokes. And also, although it was supposed to portray religious conflicts, when it comes down to it, it's all mostly based on jealousy and the like. So it's still pretty human and not at all heavy. So pop some corns, fill up the soda and enjoy the show. Cheerio!