Gie is a 2005 Indonesian biographical film directed by Riri Riza. The film tells the story of Soe Hok Gie, a graduate from University of Indonesia who is known as an activist and nature lover. The film is based on a diary Catatan Seorang Demonstran written by Soe himself. The plot of this film is an interpretation of the filmmakers, and scenes portraying Soe's private life may be partly fictionalised for dramatisation.


Soe Hok Gie grew up in a lower-middle class Chinese Indonesian family in Jakarta. In his early teens, young Gie had developed a fascination in concepts and idealisms advocated by world class intellectuals. Combined with a fighter's passion, faithfulness to friends, and a heart filled with genuine care for others and for his country, young Gie grew to become intolerant with injustice, and dreamt of an Indonesia that is truly founded on justice, equality, and righteousness. This passion was frequently misunderstood by others. Even Soe's best friends, Tan Tjin Han and Herman Lantang posed the question "What is all this fighting for?" which Soe would calmly respond with his awareness that freedom has a price tag that must be paid. Soe's motto, as written on the movie poster, is translated as "It is better to be singled out than to surrender to hypocrisy".

Soe's teen and college years was spent under the regime of Indonesia's founding father Sukarno, which was characterised with conflict between the military and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Soe and his friends insisted that they were politically neutral; and as much as Soe has respect for Sukarno as Indonesia's founding father, Soe detested Sukarno's dictatorship which caused the poor and the oppressed to suffer. Soe was well aware of the social inequality, power abuse, and corruption under the government of Sukarno, and courageously spoke out against it in discussion groups, student unions, and wrote sharp criticisms in the media. Soe also abhorred the fact that too many students appeared to others as advocates of positive change, who in fact were just taking advantage of the political situation to make personal gain. This attracted much sympathy as well as opposition. Many interest groups sought Soe to support their campaigns, while many enemies of Soe jump at any opportunity to intimidate him.

Tan, Soe's childhood friend, had always deeply admired Soe's prudence and courage but lacked that fighter's spirit himself. In their twenties, the boys were reunited again for a short time. Soe finds out that Tan had become seduced and deeply involved with the PKI but was ignorant as to what this implied or what consequences awaited. Soe urges Tan to relinquish his ties with the PKI and hide out, but Tan did not listen.

Soe and his friends spend their leisure time hiking and enjoy nature with the Nature-Loving Students of the University of Indonesia (Mapala UI). Other things they enjoyed doing included watching and analysing movies, attending traditional Indonesian performing arts, and hanging out at parties.

This movie illustrates the thrills of Soe's life in accomplishing his goal to overthrow the Sukarno regime, and the changes that took place in Soe's life after this goal was accomplished. [source: wikipedia]

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