Porn star’s comedy finally opens in Indonesia

by Rudy Madanir

Kyodo News

JAKARTA — An Indonesian comedy starring porn actress Maria Ozawa premiered in a number of cities around the nation this month despite opposition from some religious groups in the world’s biggest Muslim country.

The film, “Menculik Miyabi” (“Kidnapping Miyabi”), classified as a teen comedy film by Indonesia’s Film Censorship Agency, has stirred controversy among Islamic figures and moviegoers over the producer’s choice of the 24-year-old Ozawa, known to her many fans here as Miyabi.

Amidhan, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, the country’s top Muslim clerical body, said the council “firmly rejects the release” of the film.

“The movie will serve as a door for teenagers seeking porn DVDs starring Miyabi. Besides that, they’ll idolize her,” he said.

The militant group Islamic Defense Front has threatened to raid theaters showing the film if it finds it to contain any indecent elements.

Last year, about 100 members of the group held a protest in front of the movie’s producer, Maxima Pictures, to oppose a visit by Ozawa to Jakarta. The trip was canceled.

A group of six teenagers milling about in the lobby of the Metropole theater in Central Jakarta, one of more than 25 in the greater Jakarta area showing the film, was divided over whether to see it.

“I am curious to see the film after all the controversy surrounding it since last year,” said 19-year-old Reza Januar.

But his friend, Deni Marhandan, also 19, said he had no desire to watch a movie starring an adult film actress even if it is just a teen comedy.

“It’s because I don’t want to be a supporter of a porn actress,” Marhandan said.

Among dozens of people exiting a theater after watching “Menculik Miyabi” was Putri Melatina, a 17-year-old girl wearing an Islamic veil.

She said she laughed a lot during the movie and would urge her friends to see it.

“I don’t agree that the film will make teenagers idolize Miyabi and will drive them to seek her porn DVDs. Even without this movie, those who love porn movies will seek her porn DVDs anyway by themselves,” she said.

Mulya of Maxima Pictures challenged anybody who opposes the movie to show him any part of it that could be deemed vulgar or erotic. He claimed Indonesia’s censorship body didn’t cut a single scene.

The movie was previously planned to be shot in Jakarta last October for release in January. But after the controversy halted plans to film Ozawa in Jakarta, the producers had to revise the film’s plot and film all the scenes featuring her in Tokyo instead, at greater cost.

The revision sees Miyabi, who originally was to be kidnapped by teenage fans at a Jakarta airport, replaced by a similarly named Taiwanese actress named Mie Yao Bie, who happens to appear at the airport at the supposed arrival time of Miyabi. Miyabi fails to arrive at the planned time after losing her passport in Tokyo.

Born in Hokkaido to a Japanese mother and French-Canadian father, Ozawa has appeared in dozens of adult videos since beginning her porn career in 2005 and her popularity extends overseas.