Festival Film Dokumenter 2012: Day Three.

by celo

Yay! I planned to watch five documentaries, and I did! So I’m gonna warn you people, this post will be a very long post as I’m gonna write about five documentaries I watched at the third day of FFD 2012. It was raining hard, and I was having sleep deprivation that day, but overall, it was fun. Three of five documentary films I watched tagged in perspective category. One thing I learnt from FFD 2012 is…, perspective category could be really boring as it forced me to see the issue(s) from the filmmaker’s perspective. It was good, but for a boy whose not into documentary, a skillfully technique is a priority otherwise it would only be a boring one.


Another documentary from Enrique Sánchez Lansch! The Promise of Music, a ninety minutes filled with a good combination of wonderful music and beautiful shot about talented conductor and promising young musicians from Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela (that was not a youth orchestra anymore per 2011). Along with Rhythm Is It! and Denok & Gareng, this documentary was my very reason attending FFD 2012, and I’m glad that I did it though it was raining hard and I had to watch it with soaked wet clothes.

It was fun watching teenager in Venezuela seemed undisturbed by the extent of crime in their country, instead, they tried their best to be good in music. Every one of them (a conductor, a first flute, a couple of first violist, and a drum guy; the youth musicians in the story) was very passionate with their music, telling how they got their first instrument and how they got attached with it, their spirit to keep playing music and such. I was touched by the fact that their family supported them regardless the cost they had to pay (instrument definitely is not an affordable thing and some of the kids lived far from the school) so that their child could kept playing music. Meanwhile, the sistema introduced by the orchestra not only kept them away from the street but also taught them that they should pass the spirit to the younger musician in orchestra instead of flying away abandon their country once they achieve great reputation as a musician.

More or less, The Promise of Music is not merely about music nor the conductor as a main character, but also struggle and fight from the kids and their surroundings to live their life. I was still feeling touched whenever I remember how the drum guy tried to buy his father a new accordion and an unbearable fact that the first flute girl had to overcome at Beethovenfest 😥 Their journey would be unforgettable.


The second documentary I watched that day was The Mangoes. After reading the synopsis, I thought this nearly-ninety-seven-minutes-documentary directed by Tonny Trimasanto would be a good one. Well… lesson learned, never judge a documentary by its synopsis. This what the synopsis told us:

A transvestite, Renita Pundagau bravely go home after 25 years kicked out by his parents. The Departure is at Eid 2007, Renita is no more can find father and mother, those already 6 years ago died. Renita tried to ask the right of inheritance over her. The inheritance for her as a man and as a woman.

What a nicely done synopsis, eh? While what I got when I watched the film is a total different thing. It was not about how the transvestite tried to ask her right of inheritance, that part only shown for three or four minutes, five minutes tops of the ninety fucking seven minutes 😐 The documentary mostly about Renita’s daily life as a transvestite and her journey to go home, that’s all. There was some scenes I like in this documentary, tho… that part when she lied about her life in Jakarta to everyone in her home. It was good not because it was good, but because finally this documentary presented such a fact, a true habit of people who came home from Jakarta, that they lived a perfect life and such. Overall, I couldn’t get over the fact that the film gave me nothing but an interesting synopsis.


The third documentary was a seventy two minutes documentary about girls that were kidnapped and trained as a soldier for years in Uganda titled Grace, Milly, Lucy… Des Fillettes Soldates (that will be Grace, Milly, Lucy… The Child Soldier for you guys) directed by Raymonde Provencher. As far as I can understand, this documentary’s storytelling was split into two part, the first one was about how Grace tried to make a foundations to prevent others from the same fate she once suffered and the second one was about how Milly and Lucy told us about their experience in the past when both of them forced to be a soldier and even marrying their commander.

It was a serious documentary, it should be. Sadly the lack of English subtitle and my issue for getting bored easily during documentary film screening sent me to a heavy sleep in no seconds. The documentary told us about how those women, with their own way, tried to communicate with world as they hoped the tragic fate lurking in Uganda would stop if the whole world gave their concern to it. Grace, that was educated enough, did some hearings with United Nation and such…, like she would do anything for it while Milly and Lucy tried to cope with their past and hatred at each other as now the were working together in the foundation.


Straight to the fourth movie of the day. It was 86 minutes documentary of a mother who son is shot dead at the border of Israel-Palestine by a sniper. This movie titled One Day After Peace was a serious movie that forced me to learn about forgiveness. I think it’s a good decision to put it under Perspective category for it gave us a whole new perspective of a mother who had to let go and reconcile with her grief. It’s very hard, you know, to forgive the man who killed your son, and moreover the cycle of hatred between two countries that forced him to do so. Many questions came from the mother’s mind. A lot of it caused by the situation she met in her journey to find peace.

She head back to South Africa, learning a lot about The Truth and Reconciliation Commission and people caught in the act. They faced a very same situation with her that they had to deal when they found that their children being abducted by the government, and later on they’ve been told that their kid was killed with poison in a van. by then, the mother learnt that forgiveness is not something impossible eventho it’s not easy. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s possible, and people in South Africa already prove it. She learnt about it, asked the very question she asked everyday in her head to people inside TRC and then decided to meet the mother of her son’s killer.

There’s so much you can learn in this movie, and many of its scene may makes Indonesian recall about the 1999’s tragedy, and especially reminds us about Prabowo. No, we will never forget that.


It’s the fifth and the last movie I watched that day, Himself He Cooks, let’s jump to the synopsis:

In the Golden Temple in Amritsar hundreds of volunteers prepare 100,000 free meals every day. The spontaneous choreography of these many hands reveals the essence and atmosphere of this fascinating place.

… the synopsis says it all, haha 😛 Maybe I’m very tired for marathon-ed five documentaries a day, maybe this kind of documentary is not my thing at all. In other words: I fell asleep while watching this one, around 10 of 21 minutes more or less. It’s not that boring, the documentary filmed the Golden Temple very well, you can see the beauty of the temple in every minute you watch but it seemed that they didn’t have many issue to explore in this documentary and there’s no dialogue at all. It just about a very very big crowd cook while the other very very big crowd eat. That’s all, no music but the chanting of people praying and sounds when spoons hit the plate.

Yeah, pretty much it was.