Eye For Film >> Movies >> A Punk Daydream (2018) Film Review
A Punk Daydream
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Director Jimmy Hendrickx adopts the energetic, edgy attitude of his film's subject in this study of Indonesia's Muslim punk community, which he sets in the context of a much older tribe - the Dayak - who are also viewed as "outsiders" by the general populace.
Both these ancient and modern clans share a sense of community cohesion and are marked by tattoos, which the country at large considers not only to be forbidden by religion but also a sign of criminality. Hendrickx takes a loose approach to the subject matter, following a group of young punks and, in particular, youngster Eka, who is desperate to reconnect with his mother and stepfather, while also observing the traditions of the Dayak, who we see are much more connected to the environment.
There's a lot to be said for energy in documentaries - many is the filmmaker whose film has run aground on the speed bumps of talking heads - and Hendrickx's filming style of tracking Eka and his friends across environments including eerie volcanic backdrops and urban malaise rarely flags. The momentum is also driven by the aural onslaught of punk on the soundtrack.
The filming is rough and ready but Hendrickx pays sharp attention to this land of contrasts - whether he is capturing the slaughter rituals of the Dayak or the altogether more perfunctory approach of those in the towns. He also displays a good ear for the young punks' philosophy and emotions, capturing the melancholy that underlies their experience and ostracised existence. As one of them puts it, "The world lies heavy on my eyes".
Although lacking polish and sometimes frustrating in its refusal to volunteer more historical context, either of the country as a whole or the Dayak, this remains an intriguing snapshot of a divided country and a generation cut adrift.Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2018
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