Memories of My Body

Kucumbu tubuh indahku

Director: Garin Nugroho
2018 | Indonesia | 106m


At the beginning of this beautiful and poignant film from director Garin Nugroho (Requiem from Java), a dancer looks into the camera and announces, “My body is my home.” What follows is the story of Juno, a young orphan living in rural Java who becomes a practitioner of lengger—a traditional Javanese dance in which men dress and perform as women. Alternately shunned and desired due to his feminine appearance, Juno is caught up in the social, cultural, and political upheavals of 1980s Indonesia, often witnessing brutal violence.

Hounded from village to village, befriended by a handsome boxer, hailed as a magical gemblak (the young male lover of an older warok, or traditional dancer), and caught up in local political scheming, Juno searches for the love and acceptance he so desperately craves. Loosely based on the life of Indonesian dancer and choreographer Rianto, who punctuates each chapter of Juno’s story with powerfully emotional performances, Memories of My Body is fascinating and moving window into a culture at war with itself.


Center for Asian American Media

  • Language: In Indonesian with English subtitles