The Crescent Moon [‘Mencari Hilal’]
Indonesia, 2015, 94 mins
It hits you quite early on that this is not necessarily about Muslims at all—the protagonists could be of any religion: the liberated son working in Jakarta is forced to take his unkind and unevolved but dying and religiously observant father on a pilgrimage to glimpse a sacred new moon in a sacred place. They could just as easily be a smug, preachy Buddhist father and his testy, hypocrisy-allergic Buddhist son. Or a Christian pair. We’ve all been there before.
It’s actually a funny movie about religious sanctimoniousness. Coming from Indonesia where religion is being abused as a seriously scary political tool, the humour here is not just black but sharp and brave and, in the end, quite sad. ‘The Crescent Moon’ brings the Indonesian cultural civil war right home to us in a way that cinema is supposed to do (better than the news) but rarely does. The film “enters our heart”, as we say, and we feel their urgency, their sense of imminent loss, the courage and the strength of their cinematic fight against existential dictatorship. The wonder of it is that this is no indie but a studio movie, a fact which inspires awe and respect for the Indonesian film industry. (Alice Skinhead)
Director: Ismail Basbeth
Screenplay: Ismail basbeth, Salman Aristo, Bagus Bramanti
Cast: Oka Antara, Haydar Salishz, Deddy Sutomo
Producer : Salman Aristo, Raam Punjabi, Hanung Bramantyo, Putut Widjanarko