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Netherlands / Indonesia, 2010 (MIFF 2011, Documentaries)

Director: Leonard Retel Helmrich


"A rich mosaic of Indonesia today... poignant, breathtaking, and a singularly stellar vérité triumph." - Sundance Film Festival

Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich rounds off his award-winning documentary trilogy about the desperately poor Sjamsuddin family with this affectionate and powerful conclusion to the series. Helmrich has followed the Sjamsuddins, a Christian- Muslim family living in the slums of Jakarta, for more than a dozen years, constructing this quiet epic of life on the periphery.

Broadly revolving around the family's hopes for Tari, the teenage daughter who might be the first in the clan to attend college, Position Among the Stars grows to become an expansive portrait of an Indonesia in tumult. Shot through with a deep affection for the people he chronicles, Helmrich's is documentary filmmaking at its most genuine and affecting.

Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Sundance.

D Leonard Retel Helmrich P Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmrich Dist Antidote Films L Bahasa w/English subtitles TD digibeta/2010

See also...

shape of the moon

Netherlands, 2004
[Shape of the Moon] is a portrait of Indonesian lives that goes far beyond the typical stories of tsunami destruction, law enforcement and political unrest. Suffused with remarkable detail and unders… More »


The Netherlands/Indonesia, 2006
Banned in Indonesia, Promised Paradise follows the quest of an Indonesian puppeteer to meet three men convicted of the 2002 nightclub bombings in Bali. Along the way, director Leonard Retel Helmrich … More »


Denmark, 2006
Winner of Silver Wolf Award at last year's International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Enemies of Happiness introduces us to a remarkable 28 year-old woman during Afghanistan's first democratic ele… More »


Australia, 2008
It is happening now: in our country. ... Shot by Dutch cinematographer Leonard Retel Helmrich, known for his innovative camera techniques, this documentary is one of the most exquisitely crafted piec… More »

Heaven For Insanity- BETWEEN THE WALLS

Indonesia, 2008
An Indonesian institution for the ‘mentally disturbed' is a distressing world of squalor, screams and an unexpected cure. ... Not in competition ... More »

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