Cigarette Girl
Promotional poster
Bahasa IndonesiaGadis Kretek
Based onCigarette Girl [id]
by Ratih Kumala [id]
Screenplay by
  • Tanya Yuson
  • Ratih Kumala
  • Kanya K. Priyanti
  • Ambaridzki Ramadhantyo
Directed by
Country of originIndonesia
Original languages
  • Indonesian
  • Javanese
No. of episodes5
ProducerFauzar Nurdin
CinematographyBatara Goempar
EditorAkhmad Fesdi Anggoro
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time58–74 minutes
Production companyBASE Entertainment
Original release
Release5 October 2023 (2023-10-05)

Cigarette Girl (Indonesian: Gadis Kretek) is an Indonesian television series starring Dian Sastrowardoyo, Ario Bayu, Putri Marino, and Arya Saloka. Based on the book of the same name by Ratih Kumala, it is set against the backdrop of Indonesia's tobacco industry, which is closely intertwined with the country's history. The story is set in the 1960s and early 2000s, spanning two time periods with an estranged son searching for a girl from his father's past to fulfill the cigarette mogul's dying wish.[1]

It had its world premiere at the 28th Busan International Film Festival during "On Screen" section on 5 October 2023, where three of five episodes were screened.[2] It was released on 2 November 2023 on Netflix.[3]


In 2001, Raja, a terminally ill kretek manufacturer, has visions of his long-lost love, Jeng Yah, and tells his son Lebas to find her. Following a tip, Lebas goes to a kretek museum in Kota M. and meets Arum, a doctor who is intrigued by Lebas' photo of her mother Rukayah, and Jeng Yah, who turns out to be Rukayah's sister Dasiyah. From letters and testimony gathered from Dasiyah, Raja and Rukayah, they learn Raja and Jeng Yah's story.

In 1964, Dasiyah, the daughter of kretek manufacturer Idroes Moeria, wants to make new kretek flavors but is stymied by patriarchal forces. Raja, an employee, falls in love with Dasiyah and helps her make a rose-derived flavor. Dasiyah is arranged to be married to Seno, a soldier and son of another kretek manufacturer, but Dasiyah breaks their engagement and tells her parents of her relationship with Raja, prompting Idroes to fire him. Raja later convinces Idroes of Dasiyah's talent after he shows a sample of her kretek. Impressed, Idroes takes in Raja again, approves his engagement to Dasiyah, and markets her kretek under the brand Gadis Kretek (Cigarette Girl).

In 1966, soldiers ransack Dasiyah's residence while Idroes is arrested and mortally bludgeoned with a rifle after kreteks made by Raja's subversive friends are found in the house. Raja is shot in the leg when he tries to intervene, whereupon Dasiyah, who accompanies her father to prison, tells him to run. Raja goes into hiding and passes out on a warehouse owned by Idroes' rival, Djagad, and is nursed back to health by his daughter Purwanti. Djagad agrees to help Raja find Dasiyah, in exchange for Raja making a superior kretek. Raja returns to Dasiyah's now-empty residence and recovers her kretek recipe, which Djagad markets as his own to expand his business.

Frustrated by Djagad's refusal to fulfil his promise and make him a business partner, Raja marries Purwanti, who eventually begets Lebas and two other brothers. At the wedding reception, Raja sees the recently released Dasiyah, who, after two years in prison, feels betrayed by his marrying another and learning that Raja is using her kretek recipe. She dares Raja to leave Purwanti and start anew with her, but Raja, who is blackmailed by Djagad for his acquaintance with subversives, does not respond, prompting Dasiyah to leave. She and her family are taken in by Seno, who helps her move on by letting her create flavors for his kretek factory. They eventually marry but Seno is killed on duty. Dasiyah later gives birth to their daughter, who is revealed to be Arum.

Years later, Raja encounters Dasiyah one last time at a train station. Raja confesses the truth about the theft of her recipe, adding that Djagad had framed Idroes out of jealousy and that he had told Seno about it before his death. Recovering her love, Dasiyah agrees to Raja's proposal that they elope in a week's time. But on their scheduled departure, Dasiyah fails to show up. It is later revealed that she had died of an illness aggravated by her years in prison, after which Rukayah took on Arum as her own child.

Back in 2001, Arum takes Lebas to an artisanal kretek factory owned by Dasiyah's apprentice Eko. Upon trying their kretek, Lebas is told that this is Gadis Kretek and realizes that his father's recipe was stolen from Dasiyah after noticing that they taste the same. Returning home, he makes his family confront their past and tells Raja of Arum's existence. Raja meets with Arum, who leads him to Dasiyah's grave and reunites the couple.

Some time after Raja dies, Lebas returns to the museum and joins Arum as she seeks to learn more about her father.



In July 2022, confirming the production of Cigarette Girl based on novel Clove Girl [id] by Ratih Kumala [id], Netflix announced the cast and crew of the film. Directed by Kamila Andini and Ifa Isfansyah and produced by BASE Entertainment with Shanty Harmayn and Tanya Yuson serving as showrunners, its screenplay is written by Tanya Yuson, Ratih Kumala, Kanya K. Priyanti and Ambaridzki Ramadhantyo. It has Dian Sastrowardoyo, Ario Bayu, Putri Marino and Arya Saloka as main cast, with Tissa Biani, Ine Febriyanti, Winky Wiryawan, Sheila Dara, Ibnu Jamil, Rukman Rosadi, Nungki Kusumastuti, Dimas Aditya, Pritt Timothy and Tutie Kirana in supporting roles.[1]


The series had its premiere at the 28th Busan International Film Festival in 'On Screen section' on 5 October 2023.[4] It was made available for streaming on 2 November on Netflix in selected regions.[5][6]


All episodes were written by Tanya Yuson, Ratih Kumala, Kanya K. Priyanti and Ambaridzki Ramadhantyo and directed by Kamila Andini and Ifa Isfansyah.[7]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Jeng Yah"
Kamila Andini & Ifa IsfansyahTanya Yuson2 November 2023 (2023-11-02)
After hear his ailing father mention name of an unknown woman, Lebas begins looking for the woman. Jeng Yah meets Raja for the first time.
Kamila Andini & Ifa IsfansyahKanya Kamili Priyanti & Tanya Yuson2 November 2023 (2023-11-02)
Jeng Yah has six months left before her arranged mariage. Meanwhile, Lebas asks Arum for help to fulfill his father's last wish.
Kamila Andini & Ifa IsfansyahRatih Kumala2 November 2023 (2023-11-02)
Lebas and Arum discover surprising things. Jeng Yah secretly experiments with new mixtures to create a variety of cigarette flavors.
Kamila Andini & Ifa IsfansyahAmbaridzki Ramadhantyo2 November 2023 (2023-11-02)
A disturbing incident changes the lives of Jeng Yah and Raja. Later, Lebas seeks out answers from his father.
5"Lady Cigarette"
Kamila Andini & Ifa IsfansyahTanya Yuson2 November 2023 (2023-11-02)
Lebas and Arum are getting closer toward the answers they’re looking for. As his health declines, Raja struggled with various regrets of his past time.


  1. ^ a b "Netflix Reveals the Cast of New Indonesian Period Drama 'Gadis Kretek'" (Press release). Netflix Media Center. 14 July 2022. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  2. ^ Ramachandran, Naman (24 August 2023). "'Parasite' Oscar Winner's Directorial Debut Among Busan's Korean Cinema Today, On Screen Strand Selections". Variety. Retrieved 25 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Indonesian Period Drama 'Cigarette Girl' Coming to Netflix on November 2" (Press release). Netflix Media Center. 10 August 2023. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  4. ^ Park Jae-hwan (24 August 2023). "[BIFF] 부산에서 미리 만난다, '독전2' '발레리나' '화란' 등 ... '스페셜 프리미어' '온 스크린' 선정작" [[BIFF] Meet in Busan in advance, 'Believer 2', 'Ballerina', 'Hwaran', etc... 'Special Premiere', 'On Screen' selections]. KBS Entertainment (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  5. ^ "ContentAsia Summit: Netflix unveils first "Cigarette Girl"/"Gadis Kretek" teaser". Content Asia. 23 August 2023. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  6. ^ Liz Shackleton (23 August 2023). "'Cigarette Girl' Teaser: Kamila Andini's Epic Romance Set Against Indonesia's Clove Industry Launches On November 2". Deadline. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  7. ^ Shackleton, Liz (14 July 2022). "Dian Sastrowardoyo, Putri Marino To Star In Netflix Indonesian Original Series 'Gadis Kretek'". Deadline. Retrieved 28 August 2023.