Pareh, een rijstlied van Java
Film about the thwarted love between a village girl and a young fisherman.
This Sundanese language film by Mannus Franken tells the story of an Indonesian Romeo and Juliet. Machmoed and Wagina love each other but village tradition forbids marriage between a villager and a fisherman. The theft of the village elder's sacred dagger sets in motion a whole train of disastrous events. In the end the dagger is found and Machmoed and Wagina live happily ever after.
Pareh, een rijstlied van Java was made especially for the local Javanese population and was meant to encourage the Javanese to leave their island and move to the much more sparsely populated Sumatra. To make the message more convincing, local Javanese were hired to play the parts. Only the Wayang puppeteers and Gamelan players were professional artists. Franken's film was commissioned by the Centrale Commissie voor Emigratie en Kolonisatie van Inheemschen (the central committee for emigration and colonisation of native peoples).
Mannus Franken (1899-1953) was one of the founding fathers of the Dutch Filmliga and director of the celebrated Amsterdam Liga theatre De Uitkijk. He is best known for his co-direction, with Joris Ivens, of both Regen (1929) and Branding (1929).
F. Grasveld, Een rapport over Mannus Franken, mens en kunstenaar, Amsterdam (1979), p. 41
Centrale Commissie voor de Filmkeuring (Nationaal Archief; D2093)