Obama Anak Menteng

Jul 1st, 2010, in News, by

“Obama Anak Menteng” a new film on the Jakarta childhood days of the US president.

A film based on the book of the same name “Obama Anak Menteng”, or “Obama the Menteng Kid” opened in Jakarta cinemas on 30th June.

“Obama Anak Menteng”, although filmed in the West Java city of Bandung on a RP 1 billion budget, is set in the posh Jakarta suburb of Menteng, where Obama aka Barry Soetoro lived from 1967 to 1971 with his mother and Indonesian stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.

Co-director and book author Damien Dematra says the film shows the US president in a light that non-Indonesians might find odd, doing such weird things as

eating chicken satay, not hamburgers. They’ll see his neighbours and friends wearing chequered sarongs and Muslim caps

On the Islam issue movie producers avoided controversy by not filming a planned scene showing boyish Obama performing sholat, or the daily prayers of a Muslim, because, as Dematra says, it was

too political


He was just imitating other kids when they were praying but it didn’t mean he wanted to be Muslim. That scene wasn’t even shot because I didn’t want people to take it out of context and use it against him

The film is said to be 60% fact – based on interviews with Soetoro-Obama’s surviving neughbours and school day chums – and 40% down to the fertile imagination of Dematra.

The youthful Barack Hussein Obama is played by 14 year old American lad Hasan Faruq Ali, who himself is the son of a mixed-race couple and moved from Indonesia to the United States, although as a toddler.

Some lines from the film:

A neighbourhood tough makes some cutting remarks about ‘Barry’s’ appearance:

You’re from the West, but black. You’ve got weird hair and a big nose

While the hero himself has wise words

We have to stick together to achieve our goals and resolve our problems and fights

“Obama Anak Menteng”, made by Multivision Plus Pictures, is likely to be internationally released in September 2010.

43 Comments on “Obama Anak Menteng”

  1. Ross says:

    Okay, let’s focus on the most notorious aspect of this film.

    The guy who made it has censored his own movie and he won’t say who pressured him into doing so.

    Obama’s boyhood included participation in Muslim religous rites. Okay up to him.

    But this movie was due to encompass those scenes – suddenly the man tells us he has cut the controversial images, but won’t say who did the pressuring? Odd!

    Startlingly, all those pinkos who get uptight about censorship anywhere else are silent. Even here on IM, Odinius and Oigal, Barack Husein’s chief defenders, scoff at the suppression of the truth.

    Let’s all get hold of this ‘creative’ individual and demand answers. State Department? CIA? American Embassy? Democrats in Indonesia? Who bullied him?
    Let’s ask them if they were behind the cover-up.,

    Or will the pinkos continue to give censorship a free pass if it suits their agenda?

  2. diego says:

    Just saw the trailers. Obama had gay friend! O…my god.

  3. deta says:

    Someone can always change his mind without anybody putting him under pressure. I think Indonesian media is now quite open about the reason for a film censorship or banning if it is driven by a certain organization (MUI, as the most frequent example). Or it is probably just another marketing hoax from the producer himself to promote the movie, by bluffing about a ‘controversy’ that hasn’t existed (if ever).

    My silly guess, could he possibly alter that scene after following the Barry Sutoro thread on IM and reading some inspirational comments there? And that where he got the idea to include Barry’s gay friend on the scene too 😉

  4. Oigal says:

    it is probably just another marketing hoax from the producer himself to promote the movie, by bluffing about a ‘controversy’ that hasn’t existed (if ever).

    I think that’s probably right Deta, it is such a non-issue if BO prayed in the Muslim fashion in some way or another. It would only be on interest to the loony and ever amusing conspiracy fringe groups.

    Would it be surprising that a child growing up in Indonesia was exposed to such things..of course not..part of secret plan by a cabal of Osmamas..amusing nonsense.

    What non-muslim who has lived in Indonesia has not taken part in various degrees in Muslim Traditions, rites or rituals? Surely the only people living in a self imposed bubble of ignorance could or would want to claim such isolation from the community.

    If I attend a Catholic Service and pray with the people next Sunday..does that make me Catholic?

    Odinius and Oigal, Barack Husein’s chief defenders, scoff at the suppression of the truth.

    You missed the point Ross as they say, not a BO (nice touch with the Husien thing as well, play to the reader you want 🙂 ) defender but bullshitzer denier. Personally under normal circumstances I would not vote for him even f I could but that doesn’t mean I have any intention of accepting the nonsense from the peanut gallery.

    Oh, under normal circumstances??? When the Alternative was the very real chance that Palin could end up President then a vote for North Korea’s Dear Leader would be a better option.

  5. Ross says:

    But Palin was and is just as, if not more, equipped to be President. but as neither of us has a vote there. I won’t belabour that point.

    deta could well be right, maybe it was just a stunt to gain publicity but the movie man should be asked what he meant when he talked of pressure he was put under by agencies or persons he was unwilling to identify.

    As was noted in the press then, the effect on American audiences was a factor. And before you say it won’t reach American theatres, we have a YouTube that covers the world these days, as certain celebs here know to their chagrin, ya?

  6. deta says:

    So far the news only reported something like “the producer has skirted controversy about the movie”, or “the scenes were deemed too political”, and the alike. But never have I read that the scene was edited under a pressure from agencies or persons. Could I just miss the news?

    But personally, I think Multivision Plus is hardly a guarantee for a good quality, let alone a controversial world class movie.

  7. Alhasib says:

    This is one of the few Indonesian blogs that I follow and enjoy.
    A minor correction: Hasan who plays young Obama is the son of one of my friends and he is currently 14 years old not 12. I expect foreign media to just grab the story off the AP wire however since you have a direct link to Indonesia I would hope that you crosschecked local sources for facts first.

  8. David says:

    14 years old not 12.

    I fixed that.

    I expect foreign media to just grab the story off the AP wire however since you have a direct link to Indonesia I would hope that you crosschecked local sources for facts first

    You caught me with the AFP thing damnit, doing 11 different things at once at the moment, rushed this post out in record time.

  9. Ross says:

    deta, the notes I made from the Jakarta Globe report were thus
    ‘Mr. Dematra did not identify the “various parties”.Whether the decision to nix the prayer scenes was due to “outside political pressure” or not, is likely to remain unknown.’
    So it’s really up to him to tell us who these ‘various parties’ were.
    It might have been his favourite auntie, urging him to be nice to Mr. B. Husein, or it might have been somebody much more powerful.
    Only Dematra can reveal it, and the journo final comment is intriguing.

  10. Odinius says:

    The so-called “controversy” about this film is just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. If you really give a **** how some 10 year old prays, then you’ve got severely misplaced priorities.

  11. Ross says:

    No, Odinius, the conroversy surely is why the scenes were cut. Was the man pressured?

  12. Odinius says:

    So Ross, are you on the record saying you don’t care how Obama might or might not have prayed as a child, and fully realize it’s a ridiculous thing to care about?

  13. Lairedion says:

    Me thinks Patung does a brilliant job in luring sorry fellows jumping on the anti-Obama train. It was a matter of time the likes of Ross jumped on this one.

    My prediction is this movie will descend into obscurity pretty soon because nobody really gives a flying f**k.

    To quote Ross, the real world beckons: Holland is in the semifinals and we’re partying….

    Aduh, too many beers….

  14. Odinius says:

    It’s a good time to divert conversation to the infinitely more important topic of the Oranje victory! Fantastic match, and a well-deserved win. I really hope Holland manage to win it all…

  15. Hans says:

    Total uninteresting movie. as an audience in dressage competitions, mainly suffering must watch.
    Ghana play now, amazingly talented

  16. timdog says:

    Like most normal people, I also think this “controversy” about the film is absurd; and I’m also very much inclined to suspect that spinning rumours of mysterious “pressure” to remove the scenes is nothing more than top-notch marketing from the maker of what is probably a very dull film…

    However, I’m quite prepared to concede that having the assorted voices of reason scoffingly dismissing this damning conspiracy as nonsense, and something that couldn’t possibly be true must be deeply, frustratingly infuriating for the assorted nutbars, moonbats, fruitloops and Ross. This – these tales of “pressure” – are surely the definitive evidence… of… of what exactly? Not sure, but still…

    So, just to throw you a bone – is it beyond the realms of possibility that someone somewhere might have decided that old footage of Obama doing something weird and foreign-looking might have been, while not an unimaginable catastrophe, at least a little annoying to the smooth progression of his public image?
    Of course not; this is the age of PR and spin.
    So is it, therefore, conceivable that this same person might have suggested offering a cheque of moderate size to convince some obscure film-maker to consider a re-edit?
    Yes it is, actually.

    There is of course the famous case in the UK of the notorious Bullingdon Club photo in which – amongst other monumental twats – younger versions of “call me Dave” Cameron and Boris Johnson appear looking every bit the privaledged and arrogance-oozing poshboys that they really are.
    This image, used over and over in the long-run-up to the election as a very powerful anti-Cameron tool (I mean, come on! How much could someone looking like that know, understand or sympathise with “the common man?).
    And then it disappeared, the owners of the original (a photo studio in Oxford I think) having suddenly, myseteriously, and for no stated reason having decided to exercise their copyright.

    That a favour was called in, pressure exerted, and quite possibly money exchanged is obvious.
    But what does that actually mean? Does it mean that David Cameron is in fact Hitler? Um, no; it just means that his image team are a tough bunch who may have made an error of judgement (or maybe not – he won the election, sort of, after all).

    And in exactly the same way, if there really is footage of little Obama doing something vaguely Muslim, and if some spin-doctor really did exert “pressure” (which would surely only have been pressure of the kind you feel when your bank balance suddenly swells), does that mean that Obama is in fact the Communist lovechild of Saddam Hussein about to unleash his Islamist-Stalinist hordes of hell-pigs on the law-abiding, gun-loving good ol’ boys of this world?
    Um… no. It just means he’s got an on-the-ball, but perhaps slightly heavy handed PR crew…

    But anyway, that’s not what happened; this is just a cunning publicity wheeze on the part of the film makers.

    Patung, I apologise for posting the following; expect the men in black to appear at your place later tonight to kneecap you:

  17. timdog says:

    Oh yeah, congratulations on the win btw Lairedion – I’m sure you’re having a good evening!

  18. machine says:

    Damn I should play as Lolo Soetoro, he is my grandfather’s brother, I look like him, I trained in boxing/kickboxing (I can hold that pad better with proper boxing combos!) and I have master in engineering just like him.

  19. machine says:

    Lolo soetoro as told by my father (my father is his beloved nephew), is a tough macho guy with weird sense of humor, he should not be portrayed as a wonderful nice guy as the guy in this movie.

    Mr Lolo is a mixture of warrior-intellectual. A true soldier with real combat experience and also an engineering consultant with American education.

    His face is cold, tough and serious with broad shoulders and athletic strong body. Nobody mess with him professionally and personally.

    I really resemble him in any way (physically,mentally and intellectually). The movie producer should consult with my father before making this movie.


  20. Ross says:

    timdog says ‘that’s not what happened.’ How does he know? I don’t.
    It is this sort of sublime indifference to anything but one’s own opinion that concerns me about the lefties.
    Odinius, Whether Barack Husein prayed in whatever manner as a small child does not, as you say, matter terribly, though what he really believes of course matters.
    So much of his background is murky, or simply covered up. Is he Muslim, Marxist, or what?

  21. Odinius says:


    Since he attends this church:


    …I’m pretty sure that makes him a Methodist. Or an Episcopalian. Or both. Okay, I admit…it’s confusing! What type of mainline Protestant is he?! I demand ANSWERS!

  22. Ross says:

    The church he attended – allegedly for many years – had a ferocious racist as pastor, though Obama claims he wasn’t aware of this. So did he attend, did he listen, or was it an affiliation of convenience.
    Frankly, I doubt he is Muslim or Christian, since both religions are uncomfortable with marxism, and the guy is as near a marxist as it gets without holding a party card.
    Also, his war on decent standards (like declaring June American Pervert Month) is hardly fitting in a Muslim or Christian.

  23. timdog says:

    Ross – I said “it didn’t happen” to wind you and the nutjobs up; that ought to be obvious if you read the rest of my post. I actually was, in a playful sort of way, acknowledging your manifest annoyance at what you call the “sublime indifference to anything but one’s own opinion that concerns me about the lefties.”

    Personally I really do think it is unlikely that it happened, but read the post and you’ll see that its central purpose was to address the idea that “pressure” actually might have been exerted, and then to beg the question: if it was, does that indicate anything more sinister than over-the-top public image management and spin?
    And the answer is no.

    It’s entirely comparable to the Tory “conspiracy” to get the hillarious Bullingdon Club photo off the news pages. Does that effective exercise in spin have any sinister implications? No, of course it doesn’t; we all know that Cameron’s a poshboy anyway, and that PR is very much a part of politics these days. It’s annoying for people like me who have problems with Cameron both as a person and as a politician, but that’s all.

    And likewise, if there really was a PR opperation to pay off a nonentity director of an obscure film to remove a scene that Fox News would doubtless make hay with (just as the non-Tory press made much hay with the Bullingdon image in the UK), does it actually have any sinister implications? Does it “proove” anything about anything? Likewise, no: we all know that Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia and that PR is very much a part of politics these days…

    And Obama as marxist? That is funny…

  24. Oigal says:

    guy is as near a marxist as it gets without holding a party card.

    Ok, Just one real piece of legislation he has or try to push through that makes him any more of “marxist” than any other Dem or Dem policy.

    Didn’t the Communists or is it marxists (there is a big difference btw) tend to adopt the Ross attitude to those sexually inclined groups that so fascinate Ross?

    Personally, I think it is not so much what BO has done or is doing, he was woefully under qaulified for the postion although there was No alternative at the time (“S i can see Russia from my house Palin” was his greatest asset). However it is what he represents that is a qantum leap forward for the US. A black man, with a Muslim sounding name who actually understood Texas is not a country in one swoop effectively gelded the vast majority of nonsense normally spouted by the hard line anti-USA groups across the world.

    Although the loons and nutter are doing their best to ensure the USA reputation as ignorant, bullying, rednecks remains unchallenged.

  25. Lairedion says:

    And Obama as marxist? That is funny…

    Yup, the White House has turned into a polit buro. Soon Kim Jong-il and Fidel Castro will pay an official state visit to their comrade Barack Soetoro Husseiny.

    By the way, didn’t you see the crescent and sickle banner waving with pride? What happened with the Stars and Stripes?

  26. Lairedion says:

    Before anyone starts to reply, that crescent and sickle banner is a play on Ross’s confusion whether Obama is a commie or a Muslim…

  27. ihen says:

    Do any religion make you a better person?, why is that too important?

    diego Says:
    July 2nd, 2010 at 5:11 am
    Just saw the trailers. Obama had gay friend! O…my god.


    I don’t understand americans

  28. Odinius says:

    Usually attending church makes you not only a Christian, but a practicing one. In fact, that’s the only way to measure it. So if he goes to church, and not to some other kind of religious services, then he’s a Christian. The people who want to paint him as a “secret Muslim” are pandering to the lowest common denominator. It’s just like when the Islamists tried to smear Boediono’s wife by calling her a “secret Catholic.”

    The Marxist smear is even more ridiculous, as it doesn’t even make sense.

  29. Ross says:

    Oigal said ‘Didn’t the Communists or is it marxists (there is a big difference btw) tend to adopt the Ross attitude to those sexually inclined groups that so fascinate Ross?’

    Sorry Oigal, but you’re te one enthralled by prvs, I fnd them off-putting. Yeah, te Reds start off by taking a tough line on deviants, to generate a bit of support among the general populace, but you take a look at Cuba now or CHina, they are in the vanguard of the perv power movement (what you type calls ‘gay’ rights)

    Lairedion said ‘Before anyone starts to reply, that crescent and sickle banner is a play on Ross’s confusion whether Obama is a commie or a Muslim ‘ Actually, I said i doubted he was a Muslim, given his marrxist background etc,

    Which brings me on to Oigal aka Wickerman again, and his feeble attempt at straw man tactics, setting up a test threshold ‘what communist legislation has Obama passed,’ when in fact you only have to look at his sponsors, his upbringing and his appointments to high office to understand that he is an enemy of all that is best in America.
    Ayers the Terrorist is a bosom buddy, and a marxist, and his substitute dad was a CPUSA activist, and his appointees- see for yourself. Kagan is by no means the worst, but she’s bad enough.

  30. Lairedion says:


    Some of my comments are tongue-in-cheek and exaggerated, like the one above. As I said you jumped on this one and now we’re all having a good laugh.

    Red alert, red alert, a commie/gay/Muslim coalition is setting up a new world order and has already taken over the White House. We should all be worried.

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