Tjideng on Film

There are some rare examples of Tjideng on film. In researching we found films of the Tjideng camp , prewar Batavia and some rural scenes.

1.Dutch Newscast

This film of Tjideng is a Dutch newscast made shortly after the war (Oct 1945?). The contrast is telling. To newscaster adds little beyond the sound of his voice. Note the pre-occupation with sewage: girls emptying the cesspit  with little buckets.  They would take the buckets to the road-side where the contents were emptied into a ditch. Another crew of girls would then have to push the sewage to the edge of the camp from where it would likely flow into the Tjideng drainage canal (kali). Jakarta is located in low lying poorly drained flat land. It is a pity that films do not convey the smell!
2. Tjideng Camp: two short black-and-white videos. This film, I am sure, was a Japanese propaganda film (1943?) From the day of the Japanese invasion a propaganda bureau existed in Batavia(Jakarta). Initially it was staffed by civilians but after the Coral Sea disaster, it came directly under military control (refer to Leo Jansens’ Diary). This unit also made films to draw comparisons between their benevolent treatment of Allied women and children and the horrendous treatment suffered by Japanese citizens in the US and Canada. The conditions that were filmed were bad enough, thus begging the  question about Japanese propaganda skills. Some scenes were clearly staged, and the film contains a mishmash of shots from other camps. It’s a pastiche.

Unfortunately this video, Propaganda Belanda 1945 – V. is no longer available on YouTube
There is in existence a photograph of the fim crew in action with the main Tjideng Gate as backdrop

3. Prewar Colour film of Batavia and surroundings (1940-41) in two parts. The first part shows  interesting street scenes in various parts of the city. Note the shop with a Japanese and a Dutch flag ! Towards the end of the first film are shots of a military parade (3 March 1941?) and shots of the Governor General, his (American) wife and daughter. These two ended up in Tjideng living in a storage shed . The only positive feature of their accommodation was its remote location- away from the notorious camp gate where ugly things happened.

The second film is also interesting because of the commercial and pastoral scenes: a cigarette factory, rice paddies being ploughed and planted, grain harvesting, kampong scenes of women at work.  Informed comment would be appreciated.

Unfortunately, this two part film Propaganda Hindia-Belada 1941 is no longer available from YouTube.

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