Sumatran Folk Cinema

Sumatran Folk Cinema
Sumatran Folk Cinema closely resembles Sublime Frequencies radio collage discs. It is episodic, creatively edited with subtle effects, and finds an alternately natural and surreal balance between music and image. There are as many styles as you might expect from an island of 40 million people. One choice section features a band playing in Indonesia’s signature Dangdut rock style, a Shakira-like singer gyrates in front of a shambling but funky big band that blows Dengue Fever away. This wide sweep of images was shot in schools, on the road, in markets, or off a television screen. As with all Sublime Frequencies DVDs there is no narration, only a series of vignettes. Without further context, a scene of an ambush of a government motorcade by rebels known as Free Aceh (as in Banda Aceh, destroyed by the tsunami in 2004) is particularly bracing. This disc may be a travelogue but there’s a lot of information to process here, which makes for repeat viewings. (Sublime Frequencies)