Trilogi Jawa

I – Paradise Later
II – Jakarta Disorder
III – Riding my Tiger

Over several years Jakarta Disorder (2013, 88 min) observes the development of the Indonesian civil society which leads to the election of Joko Widodo as the country´s new president. The documentary tells the story of two courageous women in Jakarta who fight for the participation of the urban poor in the young democracy. The rapidly growing housing development leads to the displacement of many traditional living quarters. Together with their friends, the two women decide to fight against this injustice and to engage in the currently running presidential elections.

In his most recent film, Riding My Tiger (2014, 42 min), the filmmaker Ascan Breuer searches for the spirit of a tiger said to have haunted the house of his ancestors on Java. Locating this spirit is no easy matter, as it must be summoned in a respectful manner. A number of stories have grown around it, personified as the family´s grandfather, as the ghost of an old man who resides in the garden and finishes off thieves and poor craftsmen. It also recalls the resistance against Dutch colonialism and the conflicts that played out during the Cold War. By using the old art of Javanese shadow puppetry, Wayang Kulit, Breuer creates a new genre of documentary: a "magical documentary".

The Short-Film Paradise Later (2010, 14 min), which already premiered at Berlinale 2010, addresses the side-effects of the fast development of the Megacity Jakarta: In the outskirts and the spaces "in between" of a rapidly expanding metropolis, the film shows the people who are living in profound poverty and subsist on the refuse of an expanding consumer society.

The three films of Trilogi Jawa address topics of extreme relevance: How do marginalized and poor people survive in the middle of the highspeed-modernisation, even though they don´t participate in it? How do they make their lives livable? Which possibilities do they have for their own emancipation? How do they organize themselves? And which role do traditions and myths play in a society that is ever more rapidly pushing towards modernity? His films are also a search for his own roots in the home-country of his mother: Indonesia. (Goethe Institut Indonesia)

Trilogi Jawa:
Jakarta Disorder:
Riding My Tiger:

More Texts

Press-reviews (english) (Critique)

FILMDIENST about Paradise Later:
"A sullen river, fast food packaging floating on it´s surface, passing rubbish-strewn banks, miserable cottages and trees with plastic hanging down from them like lametta, and cheerfully waving children and fishermen tossing their nets into the sludge. A voice from the off tells about a Paradise Later adapted from a text-destillate of Joseph Conrad´s Heart of Darkness. The critique of globalisation and meditation by Ascan Breuer fascinates through incisiveness and poetry and makes the world-wide upcoming apocalypse vaguely perceptible. The film was one of the best contributions of the current short-film-program by German Films in Cannes." (Filmdienst, 10.06.2010, 12/2010)

THE JAKARTA POST about Jakarta Disorder:
"Jakarta Disorder explores the marginalization of the city´s poor and how they resist exclusion from economic development by developing their political knowledge. The documentary shows how the city´s poor, regardless of their education, can realize their rights as citizens and to how to use politics to their advantage. The wit and political knowledge displayed by the urban poor as depicted in Jakarta Disorder shows that political rights not only belong to the educated and established segments of society but also to those at its margins." (The Jakarta Post, 8.11.2014)

FESTIVAL DEI POPOLI about Riding My Tiger:
"The story of Ascan Breuer´s physical/psychic journey to track down the origins of his family. He is a young German citizen exploring the island of Java along with its culture, traditions and ghosts. The beginning of the film, reminiscent of an intimate diary, soon gives way to a competely different mood. The journey becomes research. The research turns into investigation. Tracks become clues to be deciphered. First-hand accounts are testemonies to be pieced together, like scattered fragments of an uncertain story that is full of gaps. This documentary offers two elements that are usually alien to the genre: suspense and preternatural. Therefore, the viewers are plunged in a film that is also an actual paranormal thriller. Psychological and ethno-anthropological materials are rewritten according to the forms of cinematic narration of mise-en-scéne. Therefore, emotion (pathos) becomes style and culture becomes a (ghostly) character." (55 Festival dei Popoli, Int. Doc. Film Festival Florence, 28.11.–5.12.2014)

Presse-Stimmen (dt) (Critique)

GOETHE INSTITUT über die Trilogi Jawa:
Die Trilogi Jawa widmet sich aktuellen und globalen Fragen: Wie überleben marginalisierte und unterdrückte Bevölkerungsschichten inmitten der Highspeed-Modernisierung, an der sie nicht Teil haben? Wie machen sie ihr Leben lebenswert? Welche Möglichkeiten der gesellschaftlichen Emanzipation gibt es? Wie können sie sich selbst organisieren? Und welche Rolle spielen Traditionen und Mythen in einer Gesellschaft, die schnell in die Moderne drängt? Seine Filme sind jedoch auch eine Spurensuche in seine eigene Vergangenheit, in die Heimat seiner Mutter: Indonesien. (Goethe Institut Indonesien zur Indonesien-Tour, 21-29.10.2014)

FILMDIENST über Paradise Later:
"Träge fließt der Fluss, auf dessen Oberfläche Fastfood-Verpackungen treiben, vorbei am vermüllten Ufer, vorbei an armseligen Hütten und Bäumen, an denen Plastik wie Lametta hängt, fröhlich winkenden Kindern und Fischern, die ihre Netze in die Brühe werfen. Vom Paradise Later erzählt eine Stimme aus dem Off nach einem Text-Destillat aus Joseph Conrads Roman Herz der Finsternis<(/i>. Die Globalisierungskritik und Mediation von Ascan Breuer fasziniert durch Prägnanz und Lyrik und lässt die nahende weltweite Apokalypse erahnen. Der Film war einer der besten Beiträge des aktuellen Kurzfilmprogramms, mit dem German Films den Nachwuchs in Cannes begleitete." (Filmdienst, 10.06.10, 12/2010)

WDR 3 (Köln) über Jakarta Disorder:
"Ein besonderer Dokumentarfilm – sehr nah und sehr fremd…"
–> (AUDIO: Feature/Interview)

PROFIL (Wien) über Jakarta Disorder:
"Höchst sehenswert."
Orig. Title
Trilogi Jawa
2010 - 2014
Austria, Germany, Indonesia
145 min
Ascan Breuer
Orig. Language
Ascan Breuer
Ascan Breuer
Victor Jaschke
Available Formats
Blu-ray (Distribution Copy)
Aspect Ratio
Sound Format
5.1 surround
Frame Rate
25 fps
Color Format