Teak Leaves at the Temples

  • 70'
  • Indonesia
  • 2008
You cannot call this film a music documentary. All the works in Teak Leaves at the Temple were specially performed for the film. Two extremes in music were brought together: western free jazz, leaning entirely on improvisation, and the local traditional music of Java as it has been played for centuries around the Borobudur Temple. The various musicians with their varied musical approaches performed together on this occasion. A unique event.
A free-jazz trio, made up of Heinz Geisser (percussion), Guerino Mazzola (piano) and Norris Jones (bass), enter into a dual, as it were, with music from the area. It's a very imposing area, because the performances and shooting are all literally in and around the Borobudur itself.
The film is made up of three parts with a commentary by a local sculptor in the guise of Superman. First it looks at everyday life, then the major tragedies in life, such as the earthquake at Yogyakarta near the temple and finally the more spiritual element of life is tackled. The film could well be regarded as a a more playful and freer sequel to Nugroho's grand Opera Jawa, in which many sorts of music and theatre were mixed as well. In Opera Jawa, the narrative drama finally takes over the core, while in this film the theatrical and musical performance is able to lead a life of its own. (GjZ)

Garin Nugroho
World premiere
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Betacam Digi PAL
Indonesian, English
Winston Marsh, Toni Hauswirth
Production Companies
Trimax Enterprises Inc., SET Film Workshop
Trimax Enterprises Inc.
Garin Nugroho
Teoh Gay Hian
Andhy Pulung
Production Design
Nanang Rakhmat Hidayat, Ong Hari Wahyu
Sound Design
Owno W. Cahyo
Guerino Mazzola