From Bali to Hollywood: A Look at Indonesian Locations in Iconic Films

Indonesia may not be the first location that comes to mind when one thinks of Hollywood film backdrops, but the Southeast Asian archipelago has been home to some of the most iconic movie scenes recorded on screen. From Bali to Hollywood, here’s a look at some of the Indonesian locations that have graced the silver screen.

1. Bali.

When the Indian Jones franchise needed an exotic location for the opening scenes of “In the Temple of Doom,” it turned to Bali. The lush greenery and towering mountain vistas of the Indonesian island made the perfect backdrop for the iconic rope bridge scene featuring Harrison Ford and Kate Capshaw. For aficionados of romantic comedies, Bali is also where “Eat, Pray, Love” was filmed in 2010, starring Julia Roberts, and “Love and Other Disasters,” starring Brittany Murphy.

2. Java.

The crowded, colorful streets and markets of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island, made the perfect backdrop for the 2010 martial arts epic “The Raid: Redemption.” The pulse-pounding Indonesian-produced movie was a surprise hit in the United States and gained high praise for its choreography and cinematography. Java was also a location in the 1980s hit film “The Year of Living Dangerously,” starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver.

3. Komodo Island.

When the writers of the 1993 film Jurassic Park needed a real-life location for their dinosaur-ridden island, they looked no further than the stunning Komodo Island in the Indonesian archipelago. The scaly residents of the island’s eponymous Komodo National Park played a starring role in the creation of a worldwide blockbuster.

4. The Gili Islands.

The pristine coral reefs and sandy beaches of the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok in central Indonesia made an ideal location for the 2012 film “The Manta Ray,” a romantic drama set against the backdrop of life on the tropical archipelago. The movie was directed by the Frenchman Bruno Armando, who made his name with French romantic comedies like “Un ange” and “Banlieue 13 Ultimatum.”

From Bali to Hollywood, Indonesia is home to some of the best locations on the planet for amazing film scenes. With stunning natural beauty, rich culture and history, and a diverse population, it’s no wonder that Indonesia remains a popular choice for filmmakers from around the world seeking the perfect backdrop to their storytelling.