Why were you interested in the question of grief?
It departed from the story of my family when we needed to decide where to bury my late father. The entire procedure of taking care of the dead body and the funeral had to be done according to sharia, thus he had to be buried and not be cremated or any other way. As a family, we wanted to bury him in the nearest area possible so it would be easier for us to visit his grave later. However, my father’s last words were a request to be buried in a certain cemetery. I eventually realized that my family took the funeral arrangements as a very emotional matter. Several things came to my mind regarding the cemetery and my current neighborhood. I found several strange phenomena. It has something to do with the rapid development within the city of Yogyakarta that leads to the rise of land price. Consequently, it affects the land price for cemetery as well. Responding to such issue, some groups of people emitted certain regulations such as exclusively singling out the cemetery from public use or stacking new graves over the old ones. They might have good intentions, but it may be a problem for outsiders who do not belong there. What if I cannot afford the grave land cost? What shall my family do? I will not live forever, will I?
Did you do research on how complicated and how expensive it can be to find a place to bury the dead in Indonesia?
I clearly performed research on the topic of the film. The screened things were the result of my observation, interviews, and oral stories coming from people around me regarding the high price of a grave and how people resolve it.
How much are you interested in questioning the family unit and do you have further projects on this subject?
To me, family is a highly complex matter. Even my previous films were unwittingly the representation of my relationship with my family. I may, through films, map and further comprehend my position among the family. Indeed, I have several ideas closely related to family either coming from other people’s families or mine.
How did you work on the lights and shadows?
The entire concept of the film was oriented to a circumstance very close to me. Therefore, the lights and shadows were set in natural and humble manner. I might say it aims to look realistic since I indeed brought forward several things that are very real to me and my current neighborhood.
Would you say that the short film format has given you any particular freedom?
Yes. To me, short film serves as a circumstance in which I am free to express my thoughts concisely yet firmly. It is a medium for me to talk about small yet significant things from my personal point of view in a short time.
Kembalilah Dengan Tenang was shown in International Competition.