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Documentary Film
107 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Daniel Ziv
Daniel Ziv
Dadang SH Pranoto
Daniel Ziv
Ernest Hariyanto
Meita Eriska, Pahlevi Indra Santoso
Boni is standing in the super posh restroom of a super posh shopping mall. After arguing about rich and poor, he utters this unbeatable sentence: “Our shit mixes well. Only the people refuse to mix.” This spirit pervades the film of Canadian-born director Daniel Ziv, who has been documenting the subculture milieus of the restless metropolis of Jakarta for the past 15 years.
They are musicians in the busses of the city: Boni lives under a bridge near a sewer. It’s pure magic to hear him talk about how he, an illiterate, composes his pieces. Ho with his dreadlocks is a happy anarchist moving through the city, always on the run from the police. And then there is Titi, a mother of three who came to Jakarta in search of a better life and ended up married to a ne’er-do-well. She is now studying for her high school graduation which is to open the door to better jobs. Perhaps.
Shot in Cinema vérité style, without frills or false sentimentality, we get to meet more than three charismatic characters leading precarious lives. Ziv succeeds in painting the portrait of a metropolis whose residents are groaning under the impact of economic reforms. In this respect, there is nothing to add to the production notes: “Jalanan” is about Indonesia, street music, love, prison, sex, corruption, rice paddies and globalisation.
Matthias Heeder