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Jahr

Jalanan

Documentary Film
Indonesia
2013
107 minutes
subtitles: 
English

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

The Land Beneath the Fog

Documentary Film
Germany,
Indonesia
2011
105 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Shalahuddin Siregar, STUDIOKECIL
Shalahuddin Siregar
Shalahuddin Siregar
Shalahuddin Siregar, Fajar Kurniawan
Tommy Fahrizal
Land behind the fog, what an enchanting title. But be careful. It’s actually a pretty trap set by the filmmaker, because the life of the farmers of Genikan, a remote village somewhere in the mountains of Central Java in Indonesia, is no fairytale. Even if everything can be grown here and the people could live well. But the rainy season lasts longer every time. The dry season was far too early this year and too hot. There’s something going on with the seasons that the farmers can’t understand. The Indonesian filmmaker Shalahuddin Sireggar observed several families in Genikan over a period of two years and in the process came across the consequences of climate change. Unspectacular, observant and with a great sense of a narrative rhythm that corresponds to the old-fashioned sense of time of this place, Shalahuddin Siregar portrays a community that threatens to fall apart because of inexplicable weather phenomena. Whole harvests are lost. It’s true that the people are traditionally willing to help each other, but what if more and more of them earn less and less? The children are the first to suffer the consequences: since there is no more money for school fees, they are sent to Islam schools. These may be worse than public schools but they are cheaper. To learn what? Or perhaps go straight to the mines? The land behind the fog is gradually unveiled through the young filmmaker’s observations and we discover a site of the global crisis. We know about this place but prefer to leave it where it always was – behind a dense wall of media fog, waste recycling and biofuel. If only we had the courage to look more closely.
– Matthias Heeder