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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Love for Share

"Berbagi Suami" is a movie produced by one young female movie director from Indonesia, Nia Dinata. In English, it is entitled "Love for Share".

In short, the movie illustrates problems and daily routines of three different families with different background where the three husbands there practiced polygamy. The first family portrays a quite high-class social family. The wife is a doctor, an obstetrician, I suppose. No matter how high her education is, she does not complain openly when she finds out her husband has the second wife without her permission. She doesn't complain for long but her bitter reaction when she found out about the second wife for the first time. After that, she showed ignorance, as a result of her repressing her feeling. Her only son who didn't like to see his mother treated unfairly by the father always provoked her to rebel. But he didn't succeed. As a result, he grows up as a cynical guy toward love. The first wife's ignorance toward anything her husband does makes her not give a damn when she finds out the third and fourth wife of the husband. Besides ignorance, there is another possibility why she doesn't rebel openly. She is blinded by her interpretation of Islamic teaching that a man can have more than one wife.

The second family illustrates middle to lower class society. The man works only as a chauffeer or a movie producer. Different from the first man whose wife lives in different houses, the second man lives together with his three wives, and later on the fourth wife. The three wives seem to love one another so that they live together peacefully. Is it really true? If they do feel happy, by the end of the movie, the second and third wives do not need to run away from the house. They run away secretly to live together. Apparently both of these women get involved in lesbianism. They find more satisfaction and true love between both of them, rather than from their husband.

The third family illustrates Chinese family. The man and the woman have food stall and manage it together. The man then secretly marries one of the waitresses there. After some time, the first wife comes to where the secret wife lives and scolds her together with her two teenage daughters. They together almost do violence to the young wife. Trickily, the young wife pretends to be unconscious.

Obviously Nia Dinata produced such a movie to criticize the practice of polygamy in Indonesia, and not on the way around, to support people to practice it. However, many people read it wrongly.

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