Europe On Screen 2008 in Jakarta

Europe On Screen is an annual event held in several Asian countries and sponsored by the embassies of various European Union (EU) member countries. In Indonesia alone, it filmed movies in several European cultural centres in large cities such as GoetheHaus (German) or Erasmus Huis (Dutch).

And yes, the most pleasant thing from this event is that all the movies are screened gratis; which is why I made it a point to watch as many of their movies as possible.

They are screened from the first movie in the afternoon (at 13.00 on the first day and 15.00 on the subsequent days) until the last movie in the evening (starting from 19.30 onwards).

Most of them screened basically take an underlining theme, such as Urban Landscape, Inspirational Stories, and Youth Life.

In Indonesia alone, EOS is held on several cities across the archipelago, from Banda Aceh, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Bandung, Semarang, Makassar, and Jakarta. Due to a larger number of potential audience in Jakarta, we Jakarta residents are more privileged to get all five full days of screening (+2 days of invitation-only screenings) in comparison to other Indonesian cities which are entitled to two days each.

Here are the films which I had been lucky to watch for free:


Sunday, 26 October

Ott Ega Rott. A Swedish film, it gives a good insight into Muslim immigrants to Europe and how well (or bad) things could turn out for different people due to a clash of culture. Eight out of 10 stars.

Taxandria. A Belgian fantasy film. Five out of 10 stars.


Monday, 27 October

Voisins, Voisins. A French rap musical film. Gives a balanced insight between differing ethnicities in a common French city: Arab, Jews, French, British, and how well those people could get to live with each other. Eight out of 10 stars.

Utazasok egy szerzetessel. A Hungarian documentary on the life of a priest on the Romanian-Hungarian border. Seven out of 10 stars. 

En la ciudad sin limitas. A touching Spanish drama about love and family. Nine out of 10 stars


Tuesday, 28 October

Best European Shorts. A compilation of the history of EU and EEC by the French broadcasting commission. Eight out of 10 stars.

Mutluluk. A Turkish film which gives an insight to the difference between rural Turks and their urban counterparts. Seven out of 10 stars.


Wednesday, 29 October

Afblijven. A Dutch film, definitely the best youth movie I had seen since Juno. Nine out of 10 stars.

Nuits d'Arabie. A Luxembourgish film. Five out of 10 stars.


Thursday, 30 October

Anlat Istanbul. A Turkish film, with a short review. Six out of 10 stars.

Alice. A Portuguese film. Four out of 10 stars.


After they are screened on a particular venue, some of the films are rerun on several other venues. I myself reside in Jakarta, and I have compiled a personal commentary of the four venues, as a future guide for you attending any similar European-related events in Jakarta.


(Note: due to the unstable exchange rates between Dollar and Rupiah during this financial turmoil, I have decided to put price figures on Euro instead for the entire year of 2008 and 2009 in Foreign Prophecies)


1. Erasmus Huis (Dutch).

providing Wi-fi access: N/A.

With a capacity of 350 seats, its auditorium boasts the most seating for the largest number of audience. It is however, not to be taken as to mean that it is the best venue amongst the four.

As a matter of fact, be prepared to spend money way beyond your pocket if you don't bring your own food or drinks to the event. A small water bottle (330 ml) of Aqua brand cost me a hole-burning Rp7,500 (EUR 0.40), which is extremely expensive by any standards of measure in Indonesia.

Since the events had film until the sun sets, it of course made no wonder that I had bought much more than just an Aqua bottle that day.

But alas, I was athirst and starving that time and it was unfortunate of me to find no warung around the vicinity so kaching!... A money (not) so well-spent.

They also made sandwiches too, which made me wonder how much they sold it for.

Regarding the auditorium seatings, they were not very well-recommended for a visit, because the seats they provide upright chairs just like the ones typical in Indonesian private school auditoriums. I would like to recommend other venues instead.

2. Centre Culturel Francais (French).

providing Wi-fi access: YES.

One of the most pleasant venues to visit.

Despite a seating capacity of a mere 40 seats, I loved the very fact that its inside was designed just like a medium-sized home-theatre, which made it much more comfortable even when compared to Blitz Megaplex standards.

It has a café which also made it a point to separate the smokers (outdoors) and non-smokers (indoors). The prices are largely normal in comparison to outside prices, with Rp2,500 (EUR 0.15) for a Tehbotol drink and Rp15,000 (EUR 0.85) for a serving of fried rice.

3. Italiano Instituto di Cultura (Italian).

providing Wi-fi access: YES.

With the smallest building amongst the four, it is by no means a bad idea to visit the place.

Nah, not at all.

Its auditorium boasts a seating capacity of 100 seats and gives us visitors a choice between the 50 recliners positioned on the front, and another 50 uprights on the rear.

There is a choice between a cafe inside the venue or a warung just in front of IIC, which made it pocket-friendly for all visitors to eat during the intermezzos.

4. GoetheHaus (German).

providing Wi-fi access: YES.

I have not visited this venue this year (and have no plans to do so), since my schedules to visit the other places had conflicted.

However, I had once attended a piano recital by a Japanese pianist back in November 2005, hence I could give an account of more or less what the place looked like.

It had a piazza in the centre of the venue, and yeah, the place looked exotic enough. Definitely worth a visit.

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