Under the Protection of Ka'Bah

Under the Protection of Ka'Bah

Theatrical poster
Directed by Hanny Saputra
Produced by Dhamoo Punjabi
Manoj Punjabi
Written by Titien Wattimena
Starring Laudya Cynthia Bella
Herjunot Ali
Didi Petet
Jenny Rachman
Release date(s) 16 August 2011 (2011-08-16)
Running time 110 minutes
Country Indonesia
Language Indonesian
Budget Rp 25 billion[1]

Under the Protection of Ka'Bah (Indonesian: Di Bawah Lindungan Ka'bah) is a 2011 Indonesian drama film directed by Hanny Saputra. The film has been selected as the Indonesian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards.



Hamid (Herjunot Ali) and Zainab (Laudya Cynthia Bella) are teenagers from different social classes; Hamid comes from the lower classes, while Zainab is the daughter of local nobility. Hamid's mother works for Zainab's family, and Hamid has his schooling paid for by Zainab's family. Eventually they fall in love; however, Hamid's mother warns him that they will never be successful.

After Hamid is accused of touching Zainab inappropriately, Hamid is run out of Padang, eventually reaching Mecca and praying at the Kaaba. Zainab is betrothed to the son of another nobleman. However, they continue to love each other. After their deaths, they are reunited in heaven.


Under the Protection of Ka'Bah is the second film adaptation of Hamka's novel Di Bawah Lindungan Ka'bah, following an adaptation in 1977 by Asrul Sani.[2] Unlike the original novel, which included numerous flashbacks, the plot is chronological.[1]

The film cost Rp 25 billion (approximately US$ 2.9 million) to make.[1] According to producer Manoj Punjabi, the company spent enough on costumes alone to entirely finance a horror movie.[3] Another cost was the construction of a small mosque, which was made in the style of the 1920s and eventually donated to the locals after filming.[4]

Production took place over a period of three years,[5] beginning in April 2008.[3] After the previous director departed two years into production, Hanny Saputra was approached to finish the film. At the time, approximately 20% had been finished.[5]


According to Saputra, Under the Protection of Ka'Bah is a romance with bits touching on the themes of culture and religion.[4] Makbul Mubarak, in a review for The Jakarta Post, noted that the film abandoned some of the novel's themes, including feminism.[2]

Release and reception

Under the Protection of Ka'Bah received a wide release on 18 August 2011.[1] Critical reception was negative to mixed.

Mubarak criticized Saputra's lack of historical accuracy, blatant product placements, and straying from the source material, surmising that Saputra had "use[d] only the novel's opening and closing". Some characters, introduced via adaptation, were criticized as being "bland". In summary, he wrote that although the film was not necessarily bad, the city of Padang was "the only solid character".[2] Ekky Imanjaya, writing for Detik.com, wrote that the product placement was overdone and that the lead Hamid seemed weak, instead of the intended patient; he summarized by saying that Under the Protection of Ka'Bah, like Punjabi's earlier production Ayat-Ayat Cinta, was overly commercialized.[6]

Puput Puji Lestari, writing for KapanLagi.com, also noted the lack of attention to historical detail and use of product placement and considered it distracting. However, she summarized that it did not detract from the mood of the film or the quality of the acting by Pepet and Rachman.[1]

The film is Indonesia's submission to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.[7]

See also



External links

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