A short but rare interview in Dutch, given by President Soekarno (1901-1970) to Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans (1925-2004) in Jakarta’s Merdeka Palace in 1963. Oltmans, who was controversial in his home country, but praised for his persistence and his apparent easy access to world leaders, eventually became close friends with Indonesia’s first president. Soekarno, who was still fluent in Dutch in the 1960s, expressed his gratitude for the fact that the relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia had normalised following the end of the Irian Barat (Papua) conflict, and wholeheartedly invited Princess Beatrix to visit Indonesia. Soekarno also elaborated on a letter he received from Prince Bernhard and the rare species of one-horned rhinoceros and Komodo dragons in Indonesia. We have added English subtitles for your convenience.
The very oldest pictures of Batavia/Jakarta in full colour date from 1937. James Anthony FitzPatrick’s series “The Voice of the Globe”, of which yesterday we posted footage from 1939, already pictured Java with a Technicolor camera in 1937. Well, it was broadcasted in American cinemas in March 1937 so it could well be that we are looking here at colour images from 1936. It is part of a combined episode “Glimpses of Java and Ceylon” however we will only show Java here.
We see footage of Kali Besar, the Chinese quarter, Molenvliet and the famous ‘rijsttafel’ (rice table) at Hotel des Indes. Including attractive glasses of cold beer in colour served in the garden of this famous Batavia/Jakarta landmark of the past. Enjoy these unique pictures… the oldest footage in colour we have of our beloved city.
Coloured footage of Batavia/Jakarta from before World War II is rare, very rare. American moviegoers could experience the world in colour in the late 1930s, thanks to James Anthony FitzPatrick (1894-1980) who travelled the world for his series “The Voice of the Globe”. Using his Technicolor camera he captured picturesque sites and the few-minute long narratives were shown in the cinema just before the main movie.
His simple, straightforward looks at what was best and most interesting in a location allowed a generation of moviegoers to experience the world from their hometown moviehouses. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer distributed the series under the umbrella title “FitzPatrick Traveltalks.” The first colour film was shot in 1934 and called “Holland in Tulip Time”. FitzPatrick visited Java with his Technicolor camera twice: in 1937 and 1939. The 1939 footage shows Batavia/Jakarta with the Sunda Kelapa harbour, Pasar Ikan, the Amsterdam Gate and Molenvliet. There is also a short section at the end where he visits Buitenzorg/Bogor.
Dutch King Willem Alexander is currently on a state visit in Indonesia. His grandmother Queen Juliana (1909-2004) was the first Dutch monarch to visit Indonesia, in August 1971. This after President Soeharto and his wife had visited the Netherlands the year before. The reception in Jakarta was overwhelming and moving. The Queen and Prince Bernhard became close friends with President Soeharto and his wife. At the end of the video Queen Juliana describes her experiences of this unforgettable visit.
An interesting documentary about the history of insurance companies in Indonesia on Kompas TV this week. Featuring Sven Verbeek Wolthuys of Lost Jakarta whose great-grandfather Wim van Garderen (1881-1943) was Director of NILLMIJ in Indonesia from 1919-1934. NILLMIJ was the colonial predecessor of today’s Jiwasraya. More on this in the book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.
A rare glimpse of Indonesia’s capital. JAKARTA 1964, seen from a taxi window and a hotel room. The video shows a city in transformation, with bygone colonial era icons like De Harmonie and Hotel des Indes, but also the just opened head office of Bank Indonesia and Hotel Indonesia. With the sounds of 1964 and unique footage of Jalan Gajah Mada, Tanah Abang, Menteng and Salemba.