9 Interesting Facts Behind the Making of 'Bumi Manusia'

9 Interesting Facts Behind the Making of 'Bumi Manusia'

9 Interesting Facts Behind the Making of ‘Bumi Manusia’

‘Bumi Manusia’ novel by Pramoedya Ananta Toer will soon be adapted for the silver screens. Hanung Bramantyo and Falcon Pictures have the chance to work on this literary gem made by Pram when he was imprisoned ini Pulau Buru. This moment seems to be much awaited by the public. Because, the first book in the Buru Tetralogy is indeed an amazing literary work. Now the public can eagerly anticipate the result of the filming, which will start on next July. ‘Bumi Manusia’ tells a story about the love between Minke and Annelies. Minke, who is a native, loves Annelies, who has European blood. And in the novel, the wide gap between the natives and the mixed is clearly depicted. Ayu Laksmi At First Thought Bumi Manusia Had Finished Filming Mawar De Jongh Feels She Shares Similarities With Annelies Of ‘Bumi Manusia’ Furthermore, the novel also tells the story of Nyai Ontosoroh, Annelies’ Mom, and her unique character. A native illegitimately married to a Dutch, she is highly intellectual even though she never received proper higher education. Adapting Pram’s work who is considered to be sacred by some Indonesian literary lovers, ‘Bumi Manusia’ movie presents several interesting facts behind it. Here is the summary from kumparan.

1. Oliver Stone once bid for it, before it became Hanung Bramantyo’s

Hanung Bramantyo dan Oliver Stone

Hanung Bramantyo dan Oliver Stone. (Foto: Instagram @hanungbramantyo; AFP/Stringer)

 Before Hanung Bramantyo was selected to direct ‘Bumi Manusia’ movie, a high caliber director, Oliver Stone, expressed his interest to adapt the novel into a movie. Astuti Ananta Toer, Pram’s third daughter, confirmed that a foreign company once offered to film the novel. The number offered by the Hollywood fimmaker is quite fantastic, amounting to USD 1.5 million. “But then Pram thought, why not Indonesian who make the movie? So, if there are Indonesians who want to do it, I’ll reject this deal,” revealed Astuti when we met her in Gamplong, Sleman, Yogyakarta, some time ago. After that, several Indonesian production houses approached and showed their interest in ‘Bumi Manusia’. In the end, Pram rejected the foreign offer. But in the end, the Indonesian production house cancelled, Then there were several other similar offers, but all got canceled too,” said Astuti.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Foto: AP Photo)

Several producers who wanted to film ‘Bumi Manusia’ often discussed about profit and loss. That made Astuti uncomfortable. Until finally, it was Falcon Pictures who earned her trust to realized the movie. According to Frederica as the movie’s producer, her company had obtained the licence to the film since 2014. Before this, there were also rumors circulating that Anggi Umbara will be the one to direct ‘Bumi Manusia’. “So, it’s only today that we have actually released an official statement, that Hanung will be the director of ‘Bumi Manusia’,” she said.

2. Hanung Bramantyo had once asked Pram directly

Hanung Bramantyo.

Hanung Bramantyo. (Foto: Munady)

During college, Hanung had once offered himself directly to Pram, to make the book into a movie. But at the time, Pram declined. “My apologies, is not that I don’t support college student such as yourself, but I live from my literatures, from my work. So I have to calculate things properly’, he (Pram) said,” shared Hanung, when we met him at Gamplong, Sleman, Yogyakarta, some time ago. In 2007, Hanung also received an offer to work on Pram’s ‘Buru Tetralogy’. But back then, Hanung wasn’t considered to be mature as a director. Salman Aristo who refused Hanung’s request to help him then, managed to calm Hanung’s vigor which was bordering on reckless at the time. “And most probably the result won’t be anywhere near maximum because I was still learning about things,” said the husband of Zaskia Adya Mecca.

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

Until finally, Hanung received the offer from Falcon Pictures to direct ‘Bumi Manusia’. And he didn’t let the opportunity pass him by. He felt mature enough after going through plenty experiences through his long carreer. Including brushes against the law in several of his movies.“This heart is probably bleeding, just like Pram’s. The window might be small , but I think the time is now,” said Hanung.

3. Iqbaal Ramadhan to play Minke

Iqbaal Ramadhan

Iqbaal Ramadhan (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

Iqbaal Ramadhan was selected to play Minke, who is the main character in the movie. Before that, Iqbaal was considered successful in playing Dilan in the ‘Dilan 1990’ movie. Iqbaal felt very excited and worried at the same time with the trust to portray Minke. Because, it is a strong and challenging role. “I’m very nervous sitting here. I’m trying to stay calm, I’m very proud and excited to join a project this epic,” said Iqbaal in the Bumi Manusia Movie press conference, in Gamplong, Yogyakarta. The 18 year old actor first became acquainted with ‘Bumi Manusia’ novel two years ago. During college in the United States, he was tasked to read two literary books. “I was taking Indonesian language subject, so I have to read two literatures. From so many choices, I’m not sure why but I picked ‘Bumi Manusia’ for my final test,” said Iqbaal.

Iqbaal Ramadhan dan Mawar De Jongh

Iqbaal Ramadhan dan Mawar De Jongh. (Foto: Instagram @falconpictures_)

In ‘Bumi Manusia’, Iqbaal will be paired with Mawar Eva De Jongh who will play Annelies. Iqbal intend to build a chemistry with Mawar. This is considering that it is their first meeting. “I actually only met Mawar for the first time at the airport. We have a workshop starting tomorrow, so we’ll meet up often. So in the near future, I want to have lots of talks with Mawar to get the chemistry,” he said.

4. Having a millennial spirit, Iqbaal is deemed fitting to play Minke

Iqbaal Ramadhan

Iqbaal Ramadhan (Foto: Instagram @iqbaal.e)

Set in 1908, the word ‘modern’ was very popular back then. Hanung likens modern with the term millennial, which is very popular nowadays. He thinks that modern and millennial share the same spirit. That’s why he is sure that a millennial will be able to portray Minke. Iqbaal Ramadhan is deemed by Hanung to be the right person to play Minke. “So I don’t really have to give the thick book to Iqbaal. Just by him being a millennial, I only have to dress him up and his way of thinking is already like Minke. I’ll just have to replace his English with Dutch,” he said.

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

Furthermore, in the novel, Minke is 20 years old. Iqbaal is believed by Hanung to possess a similar spirit that Minke had back then. If Europe was the beacon for Minke, Iqbaal’s generation has the global culture as a beacon. “That’s millennial, that’s what Minke truly was. For me, this is the right time for ‘Bumi Manusia’, to be in this era,” said the 42 years old director.

5. Iqbaal Ramadhan is asked to grow his mustache

Iqbaal Ramadhan

Iqbaal Ramadhan (Foto: Munady)

Playing Minke requires Iqbaal to make minor changes to his appearance. Yes, Iqbaal admited that he is asked to grow some mustache. He intends to find a way soon to grow his. Moreover, Minke was supposed to have quite a long mustache. “Either with make up or something else , the setting is 1908. Mustache was a hit during thay time, so there,” said Iqbaal.

6. To play Minke and Annelies requires weight management

Iqbaal Ramadhan dan Mawar De Jongh

Iqbaal Ramadhan dan Mawar De Jongh. (Foto: Instagram @falconpictures_)

Playing Minke requires Iqbal to gain some weight. But for this, he is very optimistic to be able to achieve it in 1.5 month. “I’m 60, to go up 10 kilograms shouldn’t be a problem, I’ll just eat a lot,” said the 18 year old actor, smiling. Different from Iqbaal, Mawar is asked to lose weight. Now, she said her weight is around 53 kg. “Yes is true, I should go to 49 kg, 45 kg if possible,” said the Medan-Dutch mixed. Mawar admited that it’s hard for her to lose weight. And several diet methods was tried to get her to the desired weight. But sports is the one method she is sticking to. “Because whatever kind of diet you are on, limiting food, but if you’re not exercising, then it’s no use,” she said.

7. Sha Ine Febriyanti plays Nyai Ontosoroh, Ayu Laksmi was once offered that role

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

Actress Sha Ine Febriyanti is trusted to play Nyai Ontosoroh in the ‘Bumi Manusia’ movie, directed by Hanung Bramantyo. Actually, it’s been a long time dream for Ine to play the role of Nyai Ontosoroh. That wish came since the first time she read the novel by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, at the age of 19. “Yes, it would seem all those involved in the project has some sort of a match to ‘Bumi Manusia’. I read the book when I was 19. If 19, that’s more suitable for Annelies right. But even then, I truly wish to be Ontosoroh. Pram has succesfully created such a grand character, a character that’s rousing,” said Ine when we met her in Gamplong, Sleman, Yogyakarta, some time ago. In 2005, this woman from Semarang once joined casting to play Nyai Ontosoroh. But, Ine and Nyai Ontosoroh wasn’t meant to be at the time. She failed to get the part she has longed fo since a long time ago. “I failed several castings, that I even thought maybe I’m not destined to be Ontosoroh,” said Ine.

Ayu Laksmi

Ayu Laksmi. (Foto: Munady Widjaja)

On the other hand, Ayu Laksmi who plays Minke’s mother, had previously been offered to play Nyai Ontosoroh. That was when the movie was planned to be produced by the previous production team. Having previously studied the role of Nyai Ontosoroh, said Ayu, she believes that Ine Febrianti is the right person and capable to play the part. Because, she feels that Nyai Ontosoroh is an amazing character. “Oh, I was offered by the previous director to play Nyai Ontosoroh. But, it seems although I wasn’t meant to play the part, I’m meant to play the film. So after several years, I’m back again (in the film),” said Ayu.

8. 60 percent of the cast comes from Holland

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia

Konferensi Pers Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

This film will also be Hanung’s first to involve so many actors and actresses from Holland. 60 percent of the cast are actual Dutchmen, that was casted directly in the windmill country. He said that in that era, there were only three languages, Dutch, Malay, and Javanese. So the film will also use Dutch. “There’s no English, so there won’t be any, ‘Come on, man’ or the likes, none. So all the terms will be using Javanese, Malay or Ducth,” he said.

9. Hanung will be using the huge studio in Gamplong

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

In filming the movie, Hanung has the chance to create a huge set within the studio, which was also used in the filming of ‘Sultan Agung’. Not doing things by half, the 2.5 hectares of land is transformed to become Surabaya, which is the setting of the novel.

“This entire area will be given, supported, and developed by producers and production houses,” he said.

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)

The studio, which was a grant from Mooryati Soedibyo, has the potential to be used until 10 hectares. In cooperation with local government, out emerged a studio that can be used for multiple filmings. “The films that built their sets here have a chance to make box office, because that’s the only way to develop this area,” he said.

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia

Lokasi Syuting Film Bumi Manusia (Foto: Giovanni/kumparan)