Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Riri Riza|
|Produced by||Mira Lesmana|
|Written by||Salman Aristo|
|Based on||Laskar Pelangi (novel) by Andrea Hirata|
Teuku Rifnu Wikana
|Music by||Sri Aksan Sjuman|
Titi Handayani Sjuman
|Distributed by||Miles Films|
|September 25, 2008|
|Budget||Rp.8 billion or US$590,000|
|Box office||$16.67 million|
Laskar Pelangi (English: The Rainbow Troops) is a 2008 Indonesian film adapted from the popular Laskar Pelangi (novel) by Andrea Hirata. The movie follows a group of 10 schoolchildren and their two inspirational teachers as they struggle with poverty and develop hopes for the future in Gantong Village on the farming and tin mining island of Belitung off the east coast of Sumatra. The film is one of the highest grossing in Indonesian box office history and won a number of local and international awards.
The movie, set in the 1970s, opens on the first day of the year at a Muhammadiyah elementary school on Belitung. The school needs 10 students but is one short until near the end of the day, when a straggler fills out the ranks for their teachers, Muslimah and Harfan. Muslimah dubs the children "The Rainbow Troops" (sometimes translated as "The Rainbow Warriors") and the movie traces their development and relationships with the teachers.
Background and impact
The film "reportedly" cost 8 billion rupiah (US$890,000) to make and was a year in production. Most of the child actors in the film are from Belitung, and Producer Mira Lesmana explained that choice by saying: "In my opinion, there won't be any actors with a deeper connection to the roles than those who were born and lived in Belitong their entire life."
The Bangka Belitung Provincial government declared some of the locations used in the film as areas of importance to culture and tourism in 2010, and provincial tourism chief Yan Megawandi said the decision was "primarily" made to help raise funds for the Muhammadiyah elementary school on which the film and novel's story are centered.
The film's local and international success fueled a tourism boom on Belitung, with Indonesian airline Garuda reopening direct service from Jakarta to Tanjung Pandan, Belitung's capital. A provincial government official that month said he had no hard data on the increase in tourist arrivals as a result of the film, but said that nearly all seats on flights to the island from Jakarta were booked in the first week it was open and that most arrivals were asking about information on how to visit the film's locations.
- Best Film, Bandung Film Festival, 2009
- Best Film, Indonesian Film Festival, 2009
- Nomination for Best Film and Best Editor, Asian Film Awards, 2009
- SIGNIS Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival 2009
- Golden Butterfly Award, 23rd International Children & Young Adults Film Festival, Iran, 2009
- 3rd Place Audience Award, 11th Udine Far East International Film Festival, Italy, 2009 
- Local Movie to Open Jakarta Film Festival Archived 2009-06-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Jakarta Globe, Lisa Siregar, June 22, 2009
- Laskar Pelangi: The Audacity of Hope The Jakarta Post, Iwan Seti, September 7, 2008
- Lokasi Pengambilan Gambar Laskar Pelangi Dilestarikan Republika newspaper, June 25, 2010
- Melihat Bumi Laskar Pelangi Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine. Kompas Newspaper, June 8, 2009
- Andrea Hirata Official website