Under the Tree

  • 104'
  • Indonesia
  • 2008
The film is set on the island of Bali - and 'set ' should be taken here in the broadest sense of the word. Just as the grand work by Nugroho, Opera Jawa, was set on Java - the music, the stories and the magic of Java - Under the Tree is made on and with and by Bali.
The film follows three women, and hence three different stories about relationships with Bali. The stories have in common that all three touch on the magic realism of Bali, the supernatural powers that seem to be more closely interwoven with life here than anywhere else in the world.
The women are Maharani (27), Dewi (40) and Nian (19). Maharani’s story and the ideas it expresses is about mother-daughter relationships. As fate would have it, she is accused of trafficking in children. The story of Dewi is the most dramatic. She is pregnant, but has heard that her child will die soon after birth. The teenager Nian has fled to Bali because of problems with her father. She meets the father-figure Darma and through him comes in contact with the famous Balinese Calon Arang death ritual.
Against the background of an island community that is almost bursting apart from the spirits and their incantations, the film also touches on a tragic social phenomenon. Indonesian mothers unable to maintain their families increasingly often take their children with them in a desperate suicide. (GjZ)

Garin Nugroho
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2009
Original title
Dibawah pohon
Bahasa, Indonesian
Garin Nugroho, Dinna Jasanti
Production Companies
Oro-Oro Film Arts, SET Film Workshop
Credo Cine Arts
Garin Nugroho, Armantono
Yadi Sugandi
Andhy Pulung
Production Design
Budi Riyanto
Sound Design
Adityawan Susanto
Kadek Suardana, Wiwiex Soedarno
Marcella Zalianty