Shape of the Moon | Chicago Reader

Shape of the Moon

From the elaborate crane work and arty angles of the opening shots, it's clear that this 2004 film is not going to be a conventional documentary. Leonard Retel Helmrich examines three generations of a Jakarta family struggling with Indonesia's shifting religious climate, but it's nearly impossible to focus on the people when the camera is hovering, circling, and turning upside down like a pesky insect. Many scenes feel staged for this ridiculously intrusive camera, which leaves us to assess this not as documentary but as art, a classification under which it does not fare well. In Bahasa Indonesian and Javanese with subtitles. 92 min.

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