Monday, 29 June 2020
They Call Me Babu
Brabantian writes -
Beautiful film of Indonesia.
"They Call Me Babu', Dutch original title 'Ze noemen me Baboe', from 2019.
About a young Javanese girl from late 1930s to the end of the 1940s, a real work of the heart by a female director, Sandra Beerends.
Wonderful scenes of an older Indonesia and its people.
It is brilliantly done as a faux 'documentary', black and white, imperfect scratched film frames, woven with real films of that past era, so that the whole film looks as if largely made from old amateur movies.
The story centres on Alima, who loses her mother very young - she becomes a nanny to a Dutch family, goes to Holland a while, and then back to Indonesia to live through Japanese occupation and the war for independence from the deceiving Dutch.
But the focus is on the purely human, personal level amidst all these historical events, just the life of one young woman, warm and caring and gentle, but with boldness when it counts.
The moral points are made lightly but movingly ... The radio says Nazis invaded Holland ... 'But the Dutch have invaded us for 350 years', says one Indonesian.
As a reviewer on IMDB says of the film, "It has the same 'energy' of calm and softness that is typical of the Javanese culture, so refined and delicate."