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 Awards given out in Durban, Montevideo and Sarajevo August 27, 2015 | Three IDFA Awards were handed out over the summer to promising projects pitched at three international film markets. As part of the awards, all winners will attend IDFA in November.
IDFAcademy Summer School report July 8, 2015 | Emerging filmmakers from all over the world came together for an uncharacteristically hot week in Amsterdam to work on their documentary projects with renowned tutors such as Victor Kossakovsky and Cecilia Lidin.
IBF announces May selection July 7, 2015 | The IDFA Bertha Fund has concluded the second selection round for 2015. Eleven documentary projects from countries like Nepal, Kyrgyzstan, South Sudan, Uruguay and Georgia will be supported by the fund in its classic scheme.
New Media at IDFA 2015 July 7, 2015 | For those interested in the creative potential of digital technology, virtual reality and interactive media, this year's IDFA will have more to offer than ever before.
Errol Morris central guest at IDFA 2015 June 30, 2015 | Renowned filmmaker Errol Morris will compile this year's Top 10 program at IDFA. The festival will also be screening a retrospective of Morris's work.

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