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Karnadi Anemer Bangkong (Karnadi the Frog Contractor; also known as Karnadi Tangkep Bangkong, meaning Karnadi Catches Frogs[1]) is a 1930 comedy from the Dutch East Indies directed by G. Krugers. It is considered the country's first talkie, although parts were silent and the sound quality was poor. Based on a popular Sundanese novel, the film was considered controversial by the native audience.

Karnadi Anemer Bangkong
Directed byG. Krugers
Produced byG. Krugers
Story by
Based onRasiah Nu Goreng Patut (Karnadi Anemer Bangkong)
by Joehana and Sukria
Release date
  • 1930 (1930) (Dutch East Indies)
CountryDutch East Indies



Karnadi is a young Sundanese frog chaser who enjoys eating the frogs he catches. He later takes the identity of a rich man and tries to adapt to the latter's surroundings, but is eventually discovered.[2]


Karnadi Anemer Bangkong was directed by G. Krugers, an Indo filmmaker who had worked on the Dutch East Indies' first domestic production, Loetoeng Kasaroeng, in 1926.[3] The story was adapted from the best-selling novel Roesia nu Goreng Patut, written by the Sundanese authors Joehana and Sukria.[2] Krugers had previously adapted another of Joehana's works, Eulis Atjih, in 1928.[4]

The film was released shortly after the first talkies shown in the Indies, Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 and The Rainbow Man (both 1929), were released.[5][6] Attempting to capture this new technology, Krugers used a single system camera that he had obtained with the help of his Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers membership. Krugers was unable to record all of the dialogue necessary for the film, so some parts used intertitles; thus, the film was a part-talkie.[7]

Release and receptionEdit

The release title of Karnadi Anemer Bangkong is uncertain; the title Karnadi Anemer Bangkong has been used based on a 1970s newspaper article by M. Esha, written from memory.[8] The film was reportedly poorly received by the majority Sundanese audience, possibly because of Karnadi's fondness for frog meat (which is forbidden for Muslims).[8] The film's poor reception led Krugers to abandon independent filmmaking, joining Tan's Film for two productions before leaving the country in 1936.[9]

The production is likely a lost film. The American visual anthropologist Karl G. Heider writes that all Indonesian films from before 1950 are lost.[10] However, JB Kristanto's Katalog Film Indonesia (Indonesian Film Catalogue) records several as having survived at Sinematek Indonesia's archives, and Biran writes that several Japanese propaganda films have survived at the Netherlands Government Information Service.[11]

The film is generally considered the first domestically produced talkie in the Indies.[a] However, other talkies soon followed: the Wong brothers' Indonesia Malaise (1931), for example, was released the following year and placed greater emphasis on sound.[7][12] These early films had poor sound and lots of static, but through repeated experimentation the quality was eventually brought to acceptable levels.[13]


  1. ^ Some, like Suryadinata (1995, p. 43), write that The Teng Chun's 1931 production Boenga Roos dari Tjikembang was first, while Biran (2009, p. 137) suggests that The's film was released after the Wong brothers' Indonesia Malaise, and therefore well after Karnadi Anemer Bangkong.



  1. ^ Said 1982, p. 141.
  2. ^ a b Kartiwan et al. 2010, p. 6.
  3. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 60-61.
  4. ^ Biran 2009, p. 76.
  5. ^, G. Krugers.
  6. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 131–132.
  7. ^ a b Biran 2009, p. 137.
  8. ^ a b, Karnadi.
  9. ^ Biran 2009, pp. 98, 143.
  10. ^ Heider 1991, p. 14.
  11. ^ Biran 2009, p. 351.
  12. ^ Susanto 2003, p. 241.
  13. ^ Biran 2009, p. 136.


  • Biran, Misbach Yusa (2009). Sejarah Film 1900–1950: Bikin Film di Jawa [History of Film 1900–1950: Making Films in Java] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Komunitas Bamboo working with the Jakarta Art Council. ISBN 978-979-3731-58-2.
  • "G. Krugers". (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Konfidan Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  • Heider, Karl G (1991). Indonesian Cinema: National Culture on Screen. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-1367-3.
  • "Karnadi Anemer Bangkong". Jakarta: Konfidan Foundation. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  • Kartiwan, Irwan; Katuuk, Kamadjaya Al; Soenardji, Hendra N; Dahlan, Sandra Dewi (2010). Wajah Jasa Konstruksi Indonesia: Tinjauan Keberpihakan [The Face of Indonesia's Construction Services: An Examination of Rights] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Gramedia. ISBN 978-979-22-6216-2.
  • Said, Salim (1982). Profil Dunia Film Indonesia [Profile of Indonesian Cinema] (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Grafiti Pers. OCLC 9507803.
  • Suryadinata, Leo (1995). Prominent Indonesian Chinese: Biographical Sketches. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 978-981-3055-03-2.
  • Susanto, A. Budi (2003). Identitas Dan Postkolonialitas Di Indonesia [Identity and Postcolonialism in Indonesia]. Yogyakarta: Kanisius. ISBN 978-979-21-0851-4.

External linksEdit