Historical - Development 2018

Before he was Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore, he was a wild young man in search of a kingdom. He thought he had found one: in Java. The Javanese princes thought otherwise.

    • Year of production
    • 2018
    • Genres
    • Historical
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 120 mn
    • Synopsis
    • When Napoleon's forces invaded the Dutch colony of Java in 1812, 10,000 British and Indian soldiers were sent from the East India Company's headquarters in Calcutta to eject them. They did not leave. For five years Java was British. The man in charge was Raffles, supported by his beautiful, intelligent wife Olivia. This exciting, almost entirely factual narrative tells how Raffles tried, for a while succeeded, but ultimately failed to win over the local aristocracy to accept British rule without resorting to violence. He made friends with the royal family of Yogyakarta - then as now the cultural centre of Java - where Diponegoro, the humane Muslim prince who later became the first hero of Javanese liberation was a leading figure. He began to write the book 'The History of Java' which became his tribute to the beauty and interest of the country. But when the Sultan perceived that Britain was aiming to dominate the whole island in a more complete way than the Dutch had done, he went on a war footing. At that point, Raffles' friendly intentions collapsed. He mounted a siege on Yogyakarta in which hundreds of Javanese were killed and the royal treasures looted. Discouraged by the failure of his plan for a peaceful takeover, Raffles then suffered anguish when his adored wife died, and when Britain announced they were giving Java back to the Dutch, he returned to Britain feeling like a broken man. But with the support of the intelligent young British princess Charlotte, he recovered his adventurous spirits, and started looking for a country that could be colonised without violence. Diponegoro emerged from the tragedy of Yogyakarta with a growing sense that the Javanese people should be free to govern themselves.