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Position Among the Stars is filmmaker Leonard Retel Helmric’s third film about Indonesia; it completes his two previous pieces, The Eye of the Day (2001) and Shape of the Moon (2005). Watched on its own, the newest film feels orphaned: There aren’t exactly introductions of who’s who and what’s going on, so it’s easy to spend the first half of the movie merely watching, rather than engaging. Nonetheless, this story of a poor family living in the slums of Jakarta speaks to larger themes of globalization, poverty, and religion through a multi-generational, multi-faith—some members are Christian, and some are Muslim—family. Helmric forewent narration, which allows the subtitled conversations between characters and the visual elements of slum life to tell the story on their own merits.
Wednesday, June 22 at 8:30 p.m. at AFI Silver 3; also on Thursday, June 23 at 5:15 p.m. at Discovery HD Theater.