Skip to main content

ATAMBUA 39 CELSIUS

Indonesia, 2012 (MIFF 2013, Accent on Asia)

Director: Riri Riza

"Wonderfully captures nature's harsh beauty and provides a window into the colorful tumult of life in a part of Indonesia that's often overlooked." - Hollywood Reporter

East Timorese refugees living in the dusty Indonesian border town of Atambua since the 1999 independence referendum, João and his father Ronaldo have little in common. João desperately wants to be reunited with his mother and sisters back home while pro-Indonesian Ronaldo refuses to return and drowns his bitterness in booze. Their unhurried lives are shaken when João falls for a girl with a terrible secret, reopening old wounds but ultimately allowing one of them the chance to save the others.

Acclaimed writer/director Riri Riza (The Dreamer, MIFF 2010) bases his latest film on real-life stories of displaced peoples living in West Timorese Atambua, using local actors speaking in their native Tetum. Beautifully shot, this is a sensitive, picturesque depiction of the refugee experience.

D/S Riri Riza P Mira Lesmana WS Miles Films L Tetum w/English subtitles TD HD Cam/2012

See also...

GIE

“One of the most ambitious films ever made in Indonesia.” - Rotterdam International Film Festival Low in budget but epic in nature, significance and scale, Riri Riza's Gie is a chronological ... More »

ELIANA, ELIANA

Eliana has just been sacked from her dreary department store job for kicking a customer in the crotch. Needing the support and comfort of her flatmate, Heni, Eliana returns home only to find her ... More »

THE DREAMER

“I may not know where I'm going, but I'll always know where to come home to.” ... The follow-up to one of Indonesia's most celebrated box office hits, 2008's The Rainbow Troops, The Dreamers is ... More »

3 DAYS TO FOREVER

"Holds up Indonesia like a jewel to the light, examining it for its beauty and flaws, and its mostly non-judgemental eye recalls the less paranoid moments of Easy Rider and its snapshots of 60s ... More »

POSTCARDS FROM THE ZOO

“An unclassifiable work of striking originality.” - Screen Daily ... The theme of longing is apparent early on in the ethereal Postcards from the Zoo, when we see the young Lana wandering around ... More »

THE BLINDFOLD

The story of three young people lured into a radical Islamic organisation. ... Crisscrossing between the stories of Rima, a dynamic recruit whose ambition is soon thwarted by Islamic convention; the ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director