The plot is simple, even archetypical, that’s why it lends itself so well to being repeated. Yono is a sulphur miner living in eastern Java. One day, his wife Oliv leaves him, and he tries to get her back. Another day, his mother falls ill, and he tries to get her well. The plot’s outcome is unchanged with every repetition, although the three resultant variants are far from identical, as one of the belief systems that usually inform life in conjunction is brought to the fore each time: animism, Islam and finally capitalism. Oliv is thus to be won back via magic, pilgrimage or Facebook, while the cure for Yono’s mother lies in ceremony, prayer or simple vital signs. Greenery gives way to billboards and neon, and cryptocurrency and mobile phones cast new spells, even if each fresh facet teased out of the setting contributes to a portrait of one and the same place. Regardless of what’s practised around it, the mountain keeps spewing sulphurous smoke, making outlines indistinct and boundaries blur, like the film itself: a billowing, uncategorisable cloud of anthropology, parable, metaphysics, observation and collaboration, where even the filmmakers themselves briefly come into view. (James Lattimer)
Alvaro Gurrea, born in 1988 in Barcelona, Spain. He has a Master’s in Creative Documentary and spends extended periods of time in Indonesia, where he shot his first feature-length film MBAH JHIWO with a rural community in East Java.
Production Rocio Mesa. Production company My Deer Films (Granada, Spain). Written and directed by Alvaro Gurrea. Cinematography Alvaro Gurrea. Editing Manuel Muñoz Rivas. Sound design Alejandra Molina Rios. Sound Tommy Tomjar. Production design Carolina Díez-Cascón. Costumes Carolina Díez-Cascón. Assistant director Yopie Nugraha. Production manager Nurussalam. With Yono Aris Munandar, Sayu Kholif, Musaena'h, Ach. Efendi, Nurussalam, Roni Hidayat.
FIlms: 2016: Crossboundaries (10 min.).