Rendang of Death: Revisiting Collective Memory of the Nation through Cartoon Violence

Conference: The Asian Conference on Media, Communication & Film (MediAsia2022)
Title: Rendang of Death: Revisiting Collective Memory of the Nation through Cartoon Violence
Stream: Film Criticism and Theory
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Mega Iranti Kusumawardhani, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Indonesia
Muhammad Cahya Daulay, Universitas Multimedia Nusantara, Indonesia


Rendang of Death is a short-animated film that contains 38 scenes of violence, which take place in 3:30 minutes from the whole duration of the film, 6:13 minutes. Violence scenes are visualized vulgarly as well as hilarious to local audiences. This paper examines the function of cartoon violence in the animated short Rendang of Death. Animation is a visual medium that is often utilized as a strategy to convey subtext, an underlying message. Indeterminate fear of the violent act during the New Order regime in Indonesia triggered people to use subtext to hide disapproval of the government. The indeterminate fear of violence became part of the collective memory of the nation, which was then accessed by the generation born after the New Order regime. In Rendang of Death, cartoon violence works in two ways. The first is to point out the community's approval of rendang as food that is "worth killing" to eat due to its rich flavor. The second is to challenge the indeterminate fear and persuade to move on from what happened in the past. To examine the function of the cartoon violence in Rendang of Death, the author tries to construct a connection between the collective memory of the nation with how animation conveys a subtext. The first connection is taken from rendang, food that triggers violent acts in the film. The second connection is from the violent animated scenes, mainly in a food stall. The third connection is from the animation medium itself.

Virtual Presentation

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