A Boarding School

Shalahuddin Siregar
Indonesia
105 minutes
2019

Synopsis

A Boarding School is an observational documentary that offers rare access inside an Islamic boarding school and an insight into a traditional educational system that fosters good character-building based on peaceful religious teaching that has been practiced in Indonesia for centuries. Raising their students to respect and to have compassion towards others despite their differences, these schools are Indonesia’s last defense in the face of today’s rising extremism.

More about Film

The rise of Islamophobia across Europe and the United States can have real-life implications. Hollywood and the media have crucial roles in influencing popular opinions against Muslims. They have depicted Muslim characters as hyper-aggressive, a threat to the Western way of life,anti-modern, oppressed (female) or misogynistic (male), or perpetrators of terrorism.

The film is set in one of the largest traditional Islamic boarding schools in West Java, Indonesia, called Pondok Kebun Jambu, one of the few traditional Islamic boarding schools in the country run by a woman, Nyai Masriah Amva. This boarding school provides housing and education for over 1,700 students aged between 12 and 22 for a small fee of $15 per month. Contrary to popular belief, pesantren is not a breeding place for terrorists. It is a brick wall against rising Muslim conservatism that wants to see the country move towards an Islamic state.

 

PROGRAMS PARTICIPATED

Good Pitch Indonesia 2019

Achievement

IDFA Selection
International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA)
2019

Filmmakers

Shalahuddin Siregar
Director, Producer, Cinematographer
Udin made his first short documentary in the 2005 Eagle Award workshop held by In-Docs and MetroTV—one of Indonesia’s leading news channels. He attended many documentary workshops afterward, including Doc Station BerlinaleTalent Campus 2009 in Germany. In this workshop, he presented the project that became his first feature documentary, The Land Beneath the Fog. This film gained some notable acknowledgments including the Best Debut Documentary Almaty International Film Festival 2013 and the Special Jury Prize MUHR Asia Africa Documentary Dubai International Film Festival 2011. A Boarding School is his second feature-length documentary as a director.

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