March 25, 2021, 07.13 AM

Instead of using a shaky camera technique to juxtapose the locals’ helplessness with relentless bulldozers that tore down their houses, the 47-year old used a single-shot camera to sensitively portray daily life through the eyes of children and an elderly woman.

Aryo shot the film during the peak of the floods in the rainy season. In doing so, he showed his compassion for the locals’ literal and figurative efforts to resist from being swept away by the floods and the relentless pace of modernization and political tensions sweeping up Jakarta.

Politics-free advocacy

“Advocacy for common people who are increasingly marginalized by Jakarta’s urbanization does not always have to be through politically charged hard facts. One can use experiential facts equally effectively to get the same point across,” he said in a press release.

“All too often, documentaries and other films miss the humanity often seen in daily life as they pursue agendas dictated by political points.”

Also read: Icon of Indonesian Literature Sapardi Djoko Damono Passes Away

Aside from "Village Goat Takes A Beating" and its 2007 companion piece "Playing With Elephants", as well as "Lukas’ Moment: A Journey Between Hope and Desperation" and "House No. 15", the University of Indonesia Associate Professor of Anthropology is working on his feature length ethnofiction film "Lelaki Yang Bertelur Emas" [The Man Who Lays Golden Eggs].

The University of Indonesia Associate Professor of Anthropology and head for the Digital Media and Visual Anthropology Lab provided little details on the film, which he said was “based on ethnographic stories in North Jakarta.”

But if his earlier work is any indication, there is little doubt that it is geared to take the documentary film world by storm.

(Writer/Editor: Tunggul Wirajuda)

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