Indonesia: My Special Place

By Tang Wan Xin

Bayu Prihantoro Filemon‘s On the Origin of Fear tells a story of the 1965 coup where the voice artist plays the role of both the generals and aggressors. It is a historical event that shaped the way Indonesians would think and behave. This film was carefully crafted in a way that there was no intention of whose side the film is for but rather depicting the facts through the use of sound. Loeloe Hendra’s Lost Wonders reminds me of my Indonesian helper, where she had to leave her family to come and work for us. The film tells a story of a grandmother and her grandson searching for his father through the use of black magic. To me, how my helper’s children, like the boy in the film, grew up with the absence of a parent, is something many children, like myself, can relate to. As I was watching these films, it reminded me of the time I was backpacking. Although I have no clue about the mythical or political elements in the films, each character in those three films, is someone I can identify with. We have to admit that as human beings, we are complex. That’s why stories can be extremely compelling. These three short films are inspired by events that happened in the past, present and even through the filmmakers’ own experiences. No matter where you are, I always believe that film is always about its people and for the people. So thank you Indonesian filmmakers, for reminding me that.

Picture taken with Wan Xin and the Indonesian filmmakers in the Southeast Asian Short Film Competition