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Looking through the lens with an attitude

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Fri, November 29, 2019  /  01:17 pm
Looking through the lens with an attitude

A scene from 'Der Schmetterling im Winter'. (

The voice of German filmmaker Maria Lang can be heard as she reads some entries from her journals spanning the 14 years she took care of her widowed mother, which started soon after the passing of her father on his way to the bakery in 1991. It is the opening scene of the 29-minute-long Der Schmetterling im Winter (Butterfly in Winter), which was recently screened in Jakarta. While it was difficult to catch any emotion from the narrator speaking in her mother tongue, the English subtitles provided a gripping emotional arc for the documentary, in which at a point Lang realized that she was no longer a daughter but merely a caregiver to her own mother. The silent images that followed the narration spoke volumes of the intimacy between mother and daughter. They shared the morning ritual of Lang opening the window of her mother’s bedroom in her childhood home, moving her mothe...