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Globalisation in Indonesia examined through movie screened at Townhouse

On Tuesday, the Townhouse Gallery will screen Position Among the Stars, charting the fate of one Jakarta family amid deep social change

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 Dec 2011

Directed by the Dutch filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmrich, Position Among the Stars is a movie about one family, three generations, facing globalisation in Indonesia. The film is inspired by the director's contact with the Shamshudin family living in a Jakarta slum.

In the movie, grandmother Rumidjah, openly Christian, has left the bustle of Jakarta to live in the countryside. But when her adolescent, smart granddaughter Tari turns out to be too much for her son, Bakti, to handle, Bakti asks his mother to return to the city’s slums to provide the girl with a sense of values and purpose in life.

Tari is growing up in a time of increasing openness. The people around her are allowed — and even expected — to express their opinion about everything. Older people, accustomed to a more repressive society, are unfamiliar with democratic principles.

Indonesia is experiencing the growing pains of a Western-style generation gap, a new phenomenon in the Muslim country. The entire family sees in the intelligent Tari a chance to raise their status and escape the slums of Jakarta. Bakti especially has high hopes for her, since she is like a daughter to him. 

The screening will take place on Tuesday at 7pm.

The Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, 10 Nabrawy St., off Champollion St., Downtown, Cairo

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