The Strange Case of “Gadis Kretek”
The amazing show “Gadis Kretek” has been making waves on Netflix since November 2, 2023. Based on Ratih Kumala book, this one-of-a-kind show tells a love story in Indonesia in the 1960s, during the kretek industry.
The story is about Dasiyah (played by Dian Sastrowardoyo), a creative woman who loves making kretek cigarette sauce, and Soeraja (Ario Bayu). Their complex love story takes place at a time when Indonesian history is being made. After many years, Soeraja’s son Lebas (Arya Saloka) meets Arum (Putri Marino), who helps him figure out family secrets and puzzles from the past.
Getting to Know You Kumala Ratih Kumala
Ratih Kumala is an Indonesian author who was born in 1980 and has made writing his life. Ratih has a degree in English Literature from Universitas Sebelas Maret in Surakarta, Jawa Tengah. He has worked on six fiction books (novels and collections of novels), three feature films, and many TV dramas in a variety of genres.
A Career’s Journey
As of her LinkedIn page, Ratih’s first job was as a Script Editor Coordinator at Trans TV. She worked for seven years, from 2008 to 2015. After a year, she started working as a film producer in Indonesia with Limelight Pictures, where she has been for about 7 years and 11 months now.
Awards and accomplishments in literature
Ratih Kumala has written six books and collections of short stories in addition to her work in media and movies. Her journey began when the book “Tabula Rasa” came out in January 2004. Two years later, the collection of short stories “Larutan Senja” followed. It came out in January 2009 under the name “Kronik Betawi.” According to Gramedia Pustaka Utama, the amazing book “Gadis Kretek” came out in 2012. “Bastian dan Jamur Ajaib” and “Das Zigarettenmadchen” (the story of Gadis Kretek in German) were her first books of fiction. They came out in 2015.
Ratih has won many awards for his work. In January 2003, her book “Tabula Rasa” won the Novel Contest put on by Dewan Kesenian Jakarta. Ratih won the Employee of the Year award at Trans TV. “Gadis Kretek” was nominated for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award as one of the top five works of writing. In 2015, her collection of short stories called “Bastian dan Jamur Ajaib” put her in the running for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award as one of the top ten writing nominees. The TV show “Single and Hopefully Happy,” which had 12 episodes on Kompas TV, also won the KPI Award.
Ratih Kumala and Djenar Maesa Ayu were Indonesian female writers who were featured at the London Book Fair in 2019. Kumala showed off her book “Potion of Twilight.” The paper came out in September 2018 at SOAS University of London.
In the year 2023, Ratih Kumala book “Gadis Kretek” was turned into a TV show, which was shown at the Busan International Film Festival as part of the Renaissance of Indonesian Cinema program by Kamila Andini and Ifa Isfansyah.