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Epic romance meets unyielding womanhood in Indonesian period drama ‘Cigarette Girl’

Book Chronicles / Screen

In this article:
Cigarette Girl
Ratih Kumala

Written by Azrin Tan, originally published in Vogue Singapore

Nov 07, 2023

Behind Indonesia's first period series with Netflix, the creators and directors of 'Cigarette Girl' delve into the drama adaptation of the epic novel with the same name by Ratih Kumala.

To truly transform into her on-screen character of leading lady Dasiyah, Dian Sastrowardoyo avoided meeting her friends, took a break from modern-day sports like tennis and immersed herself in gamelan, traditional Javanese music or classical tunes instead. And she’s not the only A-list name who gave her all in the production and filming process of Gadis Kretek or Cigarette Girl, Netflix’s latest Indonesian period drama which first premiered at the Busan International Film Festival earlier this year. Set against historical events that transpired in the 1960s and a booming kretek (clove cigarettes) industry, the series is the behemoth combinative work of acclaimed directors Kamila Andini and Ifa Isfansyah—telling the story of Dasiyah, who is passionate about concocting the perfect fragrance and taste to a kretek, despite a patriarchal Asian society that deems her unfit for such a task as a woman.

Read the full article here.

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