Monthly Archives: April 2012

Flaherty Rough Cut Screening

Hi all –   Please read about the rough cut screening at the Flaherty FIlm Seminar here:  

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We may need a bigger theater! Last night’s installment of Flaherty NYC’s The Lives of Animals series played to an enthusiastic sold-out house, there for a sneak preview screening of Kian Tjong and Jim de Sève’s ManDove, followed by a discussion between the filmmakers and co-programmer Kathy High.


ManDoveTjong brings de Sève to his native Indonesia to filmManDove, which takes us inside the world of perkutut, a type of singing dove bred for potentially lucrative competition throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Held in Solo, the National Perkutut Championship takes place in a large field filled with hundreds of ornate bird cages hoisted high on metal poles; judges affix flags to the poles, assigning points to the perkutut’s song. The film offers an intimate look at several competitors and the daily care of their birds, including the waning practice of ‘tuning’ birds through the use of string in constricting the pitch of their song. Amongst these bird fanciers, we find a broad cross section of Indonesian society, ranging from common citizens to a former high-ranking general under the Suharto regime.


ManDoveThe filmmakers addressed questions about translation and subtitling, part of a broader discussion about modulating one’s focus between knowledge and wonder, as well as the filmmaker’s role in facilitating access into another culture. According to Jim, “part of the idea, the design of this film, is to keep you in the dark a little bit”, discussing their desire to give viewers some latitude for interpretation within certain scenes. Kian further elaborated: “We thought maybe the contact between them and Jim could be a start, to discuss colonialism… but of course, we don’t want to say that… instead of distilling, and presenting Vitamin C, we present the orange, the fruit, and you decide what part of it you want.”


For a fascinating day-by-day look into the production process, go to Jim de Sève‘s blog:MANDOVE

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