Iialang and Bulan are two 25-year-old students of the 68-year-old traditional music teacher Waluyo. Iialang had several traumatic experiences in his youth because he had a violent father - who for instance regularly stuck a needle in his finger. Bulan is a young woman searching for individual guidelines, but who somehow keeps losing sight of them. Despite the difference in age, position and gender, a powerful bond of love develops between the three characters.The world in Bulan tertusuk ilalang (a film in a completely different style from Nugroho's earlier Letter to an Angel) is marked both by scrupulous and traditional values and by an apparently modern digital component. Director Nugroho tries not to integrate these contrasting elements but rather allows them to clash with each other resulting in a radical new form of expression. That can for instance be seen in a long flashback of Iialang: while the scene is punctuated with complex visual effects, its essence is in a simple sequence: a needle in Bulan's finger, the symbol of Iialang's inner drama.This film was on the programme last year, but went instead to the Berlin festival. It is such a special film, certainly in view of Indonesia's lack of a strong film tradition, that we wanted visitors to Rotterdam to have at last an opportunity to see the film anyway.