This is the third film following the adventures of the Blair brothers in Indonesia in the 1970s, and is possibly the most interesting from an anthropological point of view.
The title is somewhat misleading, as Krakatoa lies between Sumatra and Java and there is a lot of Indonesia east of that, including Java, Bali and Celebes, all of which feature in today’s film.
The mention of Krakatoa however isn’t arbitrary as a large part of film is to do with living in the shadow of volcanoes, which most Indonesians do, and also with the afterlife.
After a short visit to Krakatoa itself, we then head east to Java and see that the culture which although supposedly Muslim, actually has a large admixture of animism, Hinduism and Buddhism.
Along the way, and quite incidentally, one of the brothers sees a Chinese healer, who has managed to combine yin and yang and can give electric shocks through his body, and also set paper alight with the power.
One of the most interesting segments comes when they visit Celebes (now Sulawesi) and see the funeral rites and the burial practices for the recently deceased King.
As always the film manages to be both entertaining and informative and although shot less than half a century ago it seems we are looking on a forgotten world.
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