A MAGICAL DOCUMENTARY | DOKUMENTER MAGIS
“RIDING MY TIGER is an actual paranormal thriller.”
– FESTIVAL DEI POPOLI–
The filmmaker on a candid journey to Java – a quest for his maternal birthplace and the protective tiger spirit that dwells within. History is revealed through stories that pay respect to the spiritual, the ineffable, and increasingly overwhelm the filmmaker. RIDING MY TIGER is documentary film as an experimental laboratory – a Cinéma Very Vérité!
RIDING MY TIGER is the third part of Ascan Breuer’s Trilogi Jawa.
Bahasa Indonesia: Ascan Breuer melakukan pencarian roh seekor harimau yang telah menghantui rumah nenek moyangnya di Jawa. Untuk menemukan roh ini bukanlah hal yang mudah, karena harus dipanggil secara terhormat. Beberapa cerita tentang itu telah berkembang, berwujud sebagai kakek dari keluarga tersebut, hantu lelaki tua yang tinggal di kebun, pencuri dan sebagai pengrajin miskin. Hal itu juga mengingatkan kembali akan perlawanan melawan penjajah Belanda dan konflik yang terjadi selama perang dingin. Dengan memberdayakan Wayang Kulit, Breuer menciptakan sebuah jenis film dokumenter baru: dokumenter magis.
“Ascan Breuer searches for the spirit of a tiger said to have haunted the house of his ancestors on Java. Locating this spirit is no easy matter, as it must be summoned in a respectful manner. A number of stories have grown up about it, personified as the family´s grandfather, as the ghost of an old man who resides in the garden and finishes off thieves and poor craftsmen. It also recalls the resistance against Dutch colonialism and the conflicts that played out during the Cold War. This search combines an autobiographical narrative thread involving the history of the filmmaker´s family, and a historical narrative about migration that spans the globe. But before you know it, the spirit materializes, observes the filmmaker, energizes the story´s images, and affects the present. In the form of a shadow it flits through the garden and comments on the complex connections between past and present as a figure in a shadow theater. Breuer terms his film a “magical documentary,” inspired by the literary genre of magical realism. The result is a hybrid, an improvised aesthetic. Together with Tardjono Wignyopranoto, a dalang — the wayang´s master of ceremonies — Breuer reinterprets this art form for innovative cinema and anthropology.” – Marie-Hélène Gutberlet
“The beginning of the film, reminiscent of an intimate diary, soon gives way to a competely different mood. The journey becomes research. The research turns into investigation. Tracks become clues to be deciphered. First-hand accounts are testemonies to be pieced together, like scattered fragments of an uncertain story that is full of gaps. This documentary offers two elements that are usually alien to the genre: suspense and preternatural. Therefore, the viewers are plunged in a film that is also an actual paranormal thriller. Psychological and ethno-anthropological materials are rewritten according to the forms of cinematic narration of mise-en-scéne. Therefore, emotion (pathos) becomes style and culture becomes a (ghostly) character.” – FESTIVAL DEI POPOLI 2014, Int. Doc. Film Festival Florence
Ascan Breuer – script, protagonist, director, editor, producer
Tardjono Wignyopranoto – Dalang (Wayang-master)
Victor Jaschke – first cinematographer, light
Peter Conrad Beyer – second cinematographer
Bustanul Bokir Arifin – assistant director
Maruli Sihombing – cam operator, light
Rumen Dimitrov – music, sound-design, sound-mix
Riding My Tiger – Trilogi Jawa III
Shooting the tiger (set)
April 2013, Sokaraja, Central Java
Central Java Premiere
Festival Lima Gunung 2014, Studio Mendut, Magelang, 27.10.2014
(See also: TRILOGI JAWA on tour in Indonesia)