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 Forum Selection 2014 October 14, 2014 | The complete list of projects selected for IDFA Forum 2014 has been announced.
Film List 2014 October 10, 2014 | The complete list of selected films for IDFA 2014, in alphabetical order, is now online.
Framing Reality October 7, 2014 | Hybrid film will get a special focus in the Framing Reality program during IDFA 2014. The program, a continuation of 2013's Based on the Same Story, presents ten films in which real people play themselves on camera.
Wanted: Youth Jury! September 30, 2014 | Every year, a selection of films from the IDFA program compete for the IDFA DOC U Award, given out by a youth jury. Do you want to have a say about the winner, and are you between 15 and 18 years old? Then apply now!
IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
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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