Image of movie Mbah jhiwo
Image of movie Mbah jhiwo

Mbah jhiwo

Ancient Soul
Alvaro Gurrea
Spain 2021

This film starts with a farewell. On the Indonesian island of Java, a sulfur miner is left by his wife without explanation. Shortly afterwards, his mother dies. A naturopath is unable to help. Spanish newcomer director Alvaro Gurrea probes this story of calamities in three different variations: with an animistic, Islamic and capitalist frame. The central question stays the same, one of faith: how to deal with loss and to change your destiny.
Gurrea, who lived in Indonesia for some years, provided his actors with a basic script, although they speak the Osing language, which he does not understand. Given the cultural difference between the filmmaker and this environment and Gurrea’s reflection on this difference, MBAH JHIWO feels like it develops a life of its own. Deeply rooted in nature, from the wafts of mist from the sulfur mine and the crystal clear waters of a rainforest creek, the plot moves on to the consultation in a mosque and finally to the interiors and computer screens of urban life. The imagery changes, the doctors change, living standards change, yet nothing has any impact on the outcome of the story. So the truth behind all of this may be: Relief must be expected somewhere else. (Gunnar Landsgesell)

In the presence of Àlvaro Gurrea, Carolina Diez-Cascon (Production Design) and Rocio Mesa (producer).

With the kind support of Accion Cultural Española.

Àlvaro Gurrea: CROSSBOUNDARIES (2016), MBAH JHIWO (2021)

  • Yono Aris Munandar
  • Sayu Kholif
  • Musaena’h
  • Ach. Efendi
  • Nurussalam Roni Hidayat
  • Alvaro Gurrea
  • Tommy Tomjar
  • Alejandra Molina Rios
  • Alvaro Gurrea
  • Manuel Muñoz Rivas
  • Tommy Tomjar
  • Carolina Diez-Cascón
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