JALANAN Journey: A Different Kind of Blog

Welcome.

I’m JALANAN’s director, Daniel Ziv, and these pages will be an attempt to put a somewhat different spin on the concept of a film blog.

Too many film blogs I encounter are dedicated solely to the purpose of promoting the film: listing its screenings around the globe, linking to media reviews or announcing accolades and awards. This is of course totally legitimate. A key purpose of a blog is to promote the product. The problem is, after a few posts or a few months, the promotional material doesn’t make for very good reading. My mother will surely check my movie blog each day to see what sort of trouble I’ve gotten into, but I don’t expect ordinary readers to care what time our third screening in Istanbul will begin, or whether we’re in competition at Vladivostok.

So I’m aiming to put a new spin on the idea of a film blog in two key ways.

First, rather than just a promotional billboard for JALANAN, I want this blog to go deeper and become a biography of JALANAN’s journey across the world over the next year or two. A sort of non-movie road movie of a movie. 

I want to try to document the ways in which the film resonates with different audiences in different countries and societies; to document viewer reactions; to try to discover which of the film’s themes and messages are truly universal, and which are uniquely Indonesian. Will audiences in Mexico City or Rio De Janeiro identify closely with the chaotic Jakarta street life portrayed in JALANAN? Will audiences in Finland or Canada find it strange or exotic or off-putting or uplifting?

Second, as an avid traveler who’s frankly applying to festivals as much because of the desire to visit that place than for the festival itself, I wish to incorporate bits of travelogue into this blog, interweaving these freely with the film posts on JALANAN.

I would find it odd to attend festivals in places as interesting and colorful as Busan or Durban or Almaty or Zagreb or Luang Prabang, and fail to talk about the place itself: its character, its traditional markets, local people I encounter there, the fantastic sights or the delicious food. Just because my documentary is finished doesn’t mean I stop being a documentarian. (Indeed, I was a documentarian long before I began making documentaries).

So I’m hoping this blog will offer added value: To film buffs or JALANAN fans, it will add a layer of travelogue that brings to life the places we visit. To travel buffs, it won’t just be about arriving somewhere or exploring a place, but about seeing experiencing the destination through the lens of this unique story from Indonesia that we’re sharing with the world. 

I honestly don’t know how well the concept will work, but I intent to have a lot of fun with the experiment.

Thank you for reading, and see you on the road!
Daniel