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MY SKY, MY HOME

Indonesia, 1990 (MIFF 1991)

Director: Slamet Rahardjo Djarot

My Sky, My Home is a gentle, thoughtful, humorous film made deliberately to be suitable for adults and for children, and succeeds in doing this. Why then should this film - suitable even for children - have been contraversial in Indonesia?

Andri, aged about 12, lives a sheltered life with his family and servants in a mansion, and is driven to school each day by a chauffeur. Gempol lives with his family in a shanty town on the edge of the city and works collecting old paper. One day Gempol sneaks into the school playground and eavesdrops on a lesson. He dreams of being able to go to school, but his tatty appearance leads him to be arrested as a thief. Witnessing this, Andri begins to sympathise with Gempol...

My Sky, My Home raises the issue of the rapidly widening social gap in Jakarta (something increasingly inescapable to all visitors to the city) - a city of perhaps 12 million people, where wealth is concentrated in Indonesia, but where up to 70% of the population lives in slums. The film examines social difference as an issue for children and adults to think about - thus, not "calling for revolution", but asking Indonesians of all ages to reflect upon the fates of their brother and sister citizens.

The film won 3 prizes at the Nantes Festival of 3 Continents in France, and a UNICEF prize at Berlin Film Festival. Despite this, the film received only limited distribution in Indonesia, falling foul of the financial conglomerate controlling most of film distribution. This led to a lengthy and spirited controversy in Indonesian newspapers and film magazines.

Director Slamet Rahadjo, whose film Ponirah was shown at the 1985 Festival, will introduce the screening. (D.H.)

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