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Another children’s movie from the Mizan Production House is opening this holiday season.
Ambilkan Bulan (Bring Me the Moon), a film directed by Ifa Isfansyah, is a commentary on the vanishing children songs amid the ever-changing music industry in the country. It introduces old children songs for today’s children, who are more familiar with K-pop and adult songs.
The movie also laments children’s addiction to technology, especially social networking sites such as Facebook, which may draw them away from the true joy of childhood.
Following his debut with Garuda di Dadaku (Eagle on My Chest) in 2009, Ifa returns to directing a children’s film after directing Sang Penari (The Dancer) in 2011. Departing from Garuda di Dadaku, which increased people’s love for Indonesia, Ambilkan Bulan is a criticism of parenting and current society.
Nevertheless, Ifa has not fallen out of love with the country. He shows his mastery in capturing the Indonesian zeitgeist by featuring legendary children songs from composer AT Mahmud during the movie.
The story starts with Amelia, an elementary school student, who wants to see a blue butterfly in a village where her Facebook friend, Ambar, lives. Ambar always sends so many beautiful pictures from her village that make Amelia really want to visit. Amelia doesn’t realize, however, that Ambar is her cousin until Ambar informs her.
Amelia is a lonely child who grows up with Facebook. Her mother, a businesswoman, spends little time at home, while her father, who used to be there for her all the time, has previously died in a car accident. So now, she only has her mother, but she can’t expect much given her very limited time.
Amelia becomes really eager to get away once she knows that her mother plans to keep working throughout her school holidays. She doesn’t want to just have an ordinary, boring holiday. She wants to run away from the city, seeks freedom and get close to nature. More importantly, she doesn’t want to be alone.
At first, Amelia’s mother forbids her from going but changes her mind when her aunt and uncle come to pick her up to take her to her father’s hometown in rural Java. There, Amelia meets her grandmother and grandfather for the first time.
Her first encounter with nature excites her and for a while, she’s quite happy not to make friends. But after meeting some of the local children, she realizes that it is more fun to play with them. She also challenges herself in several ways, including by walking through a forest that is believed to be haunted by a mysterious man, Mbah Gondrong.
Local legend has it that Mbah Gondrong lives in the forest and attacks anyone who dares to enter it. Amelia and her friends find out, however, that Mbah Gondrong is actually a kind man who helps children who get lost in the forest.
So finally, Amelia gets the holiday she wants: Days of freedom far away from the city, and challenging. When the holiday ends and Amelia returns to school, she proudly presents her story in front of her classmates. It turns out her holiday has been very different from her friends’.
During the movie, several children’s songs are included on the soundtrack, such as “Ambilkan Bulan”, “Libur Tlah Tiba” (The Holidays Have Arrived), “Kereta Apiku” (My Train) and “Anak Gembala” (The Shepherd Boy). Apart from those, songs from several well-known bands, such as Cokelat, Superman is Dead, Sheila on 7 and The Changcuters make up the film’s soundtrack. Their performances help to ensure that children’s songs will not disappear.
Verdict: It’s a must-see movie for everyone. Children will realize that they have the songs that matter to them, while for adults, some of the songs in the film will revive childhood memories from when they used to sing them.
(90 minutes, Mizan Production)
Starring: Lana Nitibaskara, Astri Nurdin, Agus Kuncoro, Landung Simatupang
Director: Ifa Isfansyah
Writer: Jujur Prananto
Producer: Putut Widjanarko
The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post.