The Jakarta Post
'Ziarah' (Pilgrimage, 2016) from director B.W. Purwanegara will be one of the films screened during Rumput Tetangga at Kineforum in April. (GoodWorks/File)
Alternative cinema café Kineforum has announced its program for April, Rumput Tetangga (the neighbor’s grass).
Showcasing the films of Indonesia's Southeast Asian neighbors, the program will run from April 6 to 26. There will be six segments, three compilations of short films and a discussion session.
The program is meant to bring awareness of the cultural richness of the region, as well as the historic, cultural, climatic and economic similarities among the countries. In short, it asks us to get to know our neighbors better.
For each segment, six programmers have chosen movies from each country. They are Ifan A. Ismail for Indonesia, Jonathan Manullang for Malaysia, Lisabona Rahman for Philippine, Lulu Ratna for Indochina, Nauval Yazid for Singapore and Prima Rusdi for Thailand.
The Indonesian segment is represented by, among others, Ziarah (B.W. Purba Negara, 2016) which was nominated at the 2016 Indonesian Film Festival for Best Original Screenplay and Para Perintis Kemerdekaan (Asrul Sani, 1977), said to record a golden period from a dark era of Indonesia’s past.
Movies from Singapore include A Yellow Bird (K. Rajagopal, 2016), about a person of Indian decent trying to make amends with his family, and 03-Flats (Lei Yuan Bin, 2014) that focuses on three single females.
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From Malaysia, Bunohan (Dain Said, 2011) is about how a violent environment can amplify a corrupt culture. Two other movies are The Big Durian (Amir Muhammad, 2003) that captures an ethnic tension between the Malay and Chinese groups, and The Last Communist (Amir Muhammad, 2006) that criticizes the social politics of Malaysia.
The Thailand segment will focus on legendary director Rattana Pestonji (1908-1970), with movies such as Country Hotel ( 1957 ), Dark Heaven ( 1958 ) and Black Silk ( 1961 ).
The movies in the Philippine segment are Will Your Heart Beat Faster? (Mike de Leon, 1980), Sleepless (Prime Cruz, 2015,) and People Power Bombshell: The Diary of Vietnam Rose (John Torres, 2016), which was uniquely made from found footage.
Films from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam include Ms. Tu Hau (Pham Ky Nam, 1962) and Golden Slumbers (Davy Chou, 2011), among others.
A discussion titled “How green is My Neighbor’s Grass?” will be held on April 14, with speakers John Badalu, festival delegate for Southeast Asia at Berlinale, and Yosef Djakababa, director of the Southeast Asia Social Study Center.
Schedules and full information are available on Kineforum's website. (wng)