[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 understated emotion, it documents the lives of three generations of a Christian family amid the bustle and texture of outer Jakarta. It is not the major events or vital statistics of their lives that forms the basis of this moving portrayal; [Shape of the Moon] revels in the tangential, sometimes inconsequential but always intriguing minutiae of daily life, from the casually death-defying to the painstakingly practical. In the largest Muslim country in the world, among a population of 240 million people, director Retel Helmrich is able to find quiet moments with a family that is intimately familiar with the hardships and tensions of slum life, and delivers a stirringly humane picture of a vibrant, vital society. It was the winner of the Best Documentary prize at both the IDFA (Amsterdam) and Sundance film festivals.
"Retel Helmrich's gaze aims to encompass the cosmic, the near-microscopic and everything in between." - Variety
D Leonard Retel Helmrich P/S Hetty Naaijkenas-Retel Helmrich WS Films Transit L Javanese w/English subtitles TD video/col/ 2004/92min