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'Semesta' documentary shines light on seven Indonesian eco-warriors

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, January 14, 2020  /  12:32 pm

An environmental documentary titled Semesta (Universe) is set to be screened in a limited number of Indonesian theaters starting from Jan. 30.

Directed by Chairun Nissa and produced by actor Nicholas Saputra and Mandy Marahimin, the documentary follows seven people who hail from different provinces in Indonesia -- Aceh, West Kalimantan, Yogyakarta, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Jakarta -- as they try to reduce global warming effects based on their respective religions, faiths and cultures.

In Papua, for instance, the film takes viewers to Kapatcol village where the locals practice a tradition named Sasi that aims to preserve natural resources by protecting the area from exploitation. Meanwhile in Bali, the documentary discusses Nyepi (Day of Silence) and how it contributes to mitigating climate change effects.

“By displaying stories from different provinces in Indonesia, this film broadens our knowledge and inspires us to do something – no matter how small it is,” Nicholas said as quoted by Antara news agency.

Mandy added that the film was created in such a way as to make it enjoyable to watch.

“We’d like to break the stereotype that says documentaries are boring,” Mandy said. “That’s why we added different touches to Semesta. Our background in fiction films also helped.”

Nominated in the Best Documentary category at the 2019 Indonesian Film Festival (FFI), the film had its world premiere in November at the 2019 SUNCINE Film Festival in Barcelona, Spain. (wir/kes)

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