Atambua 39° Celsius

(Indonesia, 2012, 90 mins, HDCAM-SR)
International Premiere
CAST Gudino Suares. Petrus Beyleto, Putri Moruk
PROD Mira Lesmana
SCR Riri Riza
CAM Gunnar Nimpono
ED Waluyo Ichwandiardono
MUS Basri B. Sila
PROD CO Miles Films


In a 1999 referendum the people of East Timor opted for independence from Indonesia. Many of those who didn’t agree with the result fled—and settled as refugees in towns like Atambua on the Indonesian side of the border. They have the lives that most refugees have: a mixture of boredom, frustration and longing for the people and places they left behind.

Riri Riza’s acute, crowd-funded film—shot in predominantly Catholic Atambua with local, nonprofessional actors—offers a panoramic picture of refugee life, but focuses on three characters in particular: bus-driver Ronaldo, who left his wife and daughters to come here; his bullied son João, who treasures tape-recordings of his mother’s voice; and Nikia, an introverted young woman with a dark secret. We learn most about these people in the closing scenes—their stories were gleaned from the region’s truth-and-reconciliation hearings. For most of the film, though, Riri observes their hopes and fears with a sensitive-but-critical eye. Quite an achievement, given the 39° heat.

Tony Rayns

Preceded By: Ninja & Soldier

DIR Hirabayashi Isamu / Japan, 2013, 10 min.

After his post-tsunami masterpiece 663114, Hirabayashi returns to animation for a meditation on cultural difference. Specifically, the difference between Ken, an 8-year-old in Japan with ninja dreams, and Nito, an 8-year-old child soldier in Congo. (TR)

Film Contact Information
Print Contact
Andanari Yogaswari
Miles Films
Bintaro Pesanggrahan
Jakarta, 12330
Phone 1: (62.21) 7388 9880
Phone 2: (62.21) 750-0739
Fax: (6221) 7581-7755