Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010 Leonard Retel Helmrich


Shape of the Moon (Stand van de maan)

Directed by Leonard Retel Helmrich
Indonesia/Netherlands 2004, color, 92 min.
Indonesian with English subtitles

The end of the Suharto regime ushered in an era of rapid sociopolitical change in Indonesia. Shape of the Moon registers those changes on aging matriarch Rumidjah and her family. Rumidjah is a Christian, but her son Bakti converts to Islam to marry a Muslim woman. Shape of the Moon juxtaposes this family drama against the rise of fundamentalist Islam in Indonesia, itself a response to the country's uncertain future. Meanwhile, Rumidjah tires of the chaos of Jakarta and longs to return to her home village. However, she remains devoted to her eleven year-old granddaughter and knows that the countryside holds little promise for younger generations.