Position Among the Stars

Leonard Retel Helmrich, The Netherlands, 2010, color, HDcam, 109'
Synopsis

The concluding part of Leonard Retel Helmrich's trilogy on Indonesia, which follows the Christian-Islamic Sjamsuddin family. Here, as in part one The Eye of the Day (2002) and part two Shape of the Moon (2004), Helmrich uses the single shot cinema technique he developed, whose characteristic style – with long, uninterrupted shots devoid of interviews or commentary – is closely related to cinema verité and direct cinema. The camera's broad, intuitive movements are distinctive for these films: it is a fly in the air rather than a fly on the wall, roving among the various family members, including resolute grandmother Rumidjah, her son Bakti and her granddaughter Tari. No one seems in the least disturbed by the filmmakers - not even the rats and cockroaches. The occasionally funny and moving everyday ups and downs of the Sjamsuddin family serve as an indirect channel for a portrait of modern Indonesia, with all its contrasts between urban and rural, wealth and poverty, and religion and globalization. In this country where religious leaders preach the adoption of Islamic law, Rumidjah and Bakti hope that Tari will be the first in the family to go to college, while Tari herself displays all the familiar characteristics of a rebellious teenager: her primary interests are shopping and boys.

IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA to present themed program on The Female Gaze September 9, 2014 | During the upcoming festival, IDFA will present a themed program on the role of women in documentary called The Female Gaze. Fifteen leading international female directors, including Pirjo Honkasalo, Barbara Kopple and Kim Longinotto, have put together a program of old and new documentaries by themselves and other female directors.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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