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Rome Film Festival features documentary on E. Java 'pesantren'

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Wed, November 8, 2017 | 07:32 pm
Rome Film Festival features documentary on E. Java 'pesantren'

Da’wah showcases the daily routines of students at Pondok Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) Darullughah Wadda'wah (Dalwa) in Pasuruan regency, East Java. (Shutterstock/file)

Da'wah, a documentary that follows the daily activities of an Indonesian Islamic boarding school, was among the films presented at this year's Rome Film Festival in Italy.

Shown on Saturday at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Antara news agency reported that Da’wah had received positive feedback, with tickets sold out one day prior to the screening — a rarity for a movie presented in the Special Events category.

Indonesian Ambassador to Italy Esti Andayani said that interest in the film illustrated Italy’s growing curiosity of Indonesia, its people and their Islamic beliefs.

Directed by Italian filmmaker Italo Spinelli, Da’wah offers a glimpse into the life of students at Pondok Pesantren (Islamic boarding school) Darullughah Wadda'wah (Dalwa) in Pasuruan regency, East Java. In making the documentary, Spinelli reportedly followed the boarding school’s activities for nine days.

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 “I learned a lot during filming. Unlike most people’s perception about Islam, the religious lessons [in the boarding school] are actually against violence,” Spinelli said, adding that teachers stressed the importance of sharing happiness and love in their surroundings.

He said that the most interesting part of making the film was learning that jihad was actually a concept of fighting inner turbulence, not an external enemy.

Spinelli got the idea to produce Da’wah while visiting Indonesia a few years ago. The director of the Asiatica Film Festival — the biggest Asian film festival in Rome — then collaborated with Sapta Nirwandar and Irsyad Yusuf.

The film was supported by the Pasuruan regency administration. (jes/asw)

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