Movie review: Papuan children, the president and a bicycle


Jakarta (ANTARA) – Despite their promising potential in the global film market, few filmmakers in the country have shown interest in making films about Papuan children.

Films that tell stories about humanity, such as children living in Indonesia’s easternmost island, Papua, are few in number, and most of them refer to viral or popular episodes. , highlighting the need for films that truly capture the lives of Papuans.

Among the long-awaited films recently released in theaters, there is President of Sepeda Where The president’s bike. The film, which premiered in Indonesian theaters on December 23, 2021, is a remarkable year-end release from the Indonesian film industry.

Inspired by the genre of comedy, President of Sepeda presents the lives of Papuan children against the backdrop of the spectacular nature of the region and haunting music. The film aims to invite all Indonesian children, families and society to return to the cinema to watch films together again, not forgetting health protocols, its directors said.

Avesina Soebli, the producer of the film, said that he is interested in the world, music and culture of Indonesian children, so he decided to focus the theme of President of Sepeda on Papuan culture.

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An offer from the production house Radepa Studio, President of Sepeda captures the rich and compelling stories of Papuan children, he added.

According to Soebli, the life of Papuan children is different from that of metropolitan children who live in cities. Their stories are filled with treasures and specters that cannot be found in other parts of the archipelago, he said. The stories of the Papuan children are theirs and can only be explained by the natural wealth of their region, he noted.

Garin Nugroho, the film’s director, shares similar sentiments. He said that although he had visited Papua many times, his awe at the beauty of Papua and the talents of his children never died out.

Therefore, Nugroho said that he and Hestu Saputra were inspired to work on the film.

Papua is a source of spirits, home to dancing, acting and singing talents, and joy, he added.

Nugroho said Papua had boosted his creativity again. He said it helped him recover from the exhaustion of his recent theatrical offering Planet, a lament, a musical about the nature of Melanesia, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany.

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The company of three

President of Sepeda traces the story of three Papuan children who wish to meet the President of Indonesia with the help of a YouTuber who fled his boring life in Jakarta.

The encounter is interspersed with a lot of hilarity, colorful with adventures in beautiful Papua, and glamorized through children’s songs that are both joyful and entertaining.

President of Sepeda seems to be a representation of the dreams and hopes of Indonesian children in general. The film manages to convey that most Indonesian children have the same wishes and goals for happiness, but some face obstacles in achieving their goals because they do not have the same facilities, information and amenities as urban children.

According to Soebli, the production team chose the metaphor of the president’s bike because they were inspired by the visuals of the president and his bike.

The “president’s bike” is an interesting cultural and social event that triggers public participation, he explained.

He refers to programs where Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) meets many children and gives them free bikes, which has often led to humorous incidents that have gone viral, he informed.

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For example, on December 21, 2021, Widodo donated a bicycle to the people of Tarakan for successfully answering his questions about the number of islands in Indonesia and health protocols.

These viral incidents turned into modern folklore stories that kind of inspired the film, Soebli said.

The natural beauty of the island of Papua presents a calming backdrop for the film, which takes place in Sorong and Raja Ampat. Filming for the film took place in October 2021.

The cast of the film includes Ariel Tatum, Sita Nursanti, Joanita Chatari, Ian William and the intelligent and talented Papuan children known as “The Papua Kids”: Arnol Aner Asmuruf, Dede Ramandei and Elias F. Padwa.

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Nice soundtrack

The production team of President of Sepeda took on Swastika Nohara as a screenwriter with Nugroho.

Ultimately, the film is meant to be a family movie choice with its charming, exciting, and beautiful songs, along with a warm dose of humanity.

Four soundtracks by President of Sepeda, President of Sepeda, Yospan, Papua, and Sajojo, were interpreted by Papuan talents.

There are three other songs in the movie: Risau (To worry), which was created on October 29, 2021, Kunang-Kunang (Fireflies), and Bunga Anggrek (Orchids) by Ariel Tatum.

All soundtracks were directed by Royal Prima Musikindo (RPM) and produced by Octav Panggabean. the President of Sepeda song was sung by ‘The Papua Kids’, the three main characters of the film.

The song, released on December 4, 2021, portrays the ambition of Papuan children to live each day and strive for their dreams.

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During this time, Yospan and Sajojo are traditional songs sung by Bona Pascal, JB Macho and other Papuan children.

The total number of songs in the movie is 17 and they were all recorded over a period of one month.

The film is expected to close the year with enthusiasm, instilling hope of making dreams come true and optimism in manifesting ideal situations.

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