The second youngest of eight children born to an upper-class family living in the rural region of Gunung Kidul in Cental Java, Estu has been ‘different’ ever since he was a young boy. Estu’s actions, and their disorienting power, cannot be understood outside of the cultural and social context within which they have taken shape nor can they be considered apart from the disruptive and painful effects they have on his family. This film explores the multiple ways the family interprets such dilemmas, and his tribulations and finally transformations as he matures into culturally defined adulthood.
Robert Lemelson is a cultural anthropologist, ethnographic filmmaker and philanthropist. Lemelson received his M.A. from the University of Chicago and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of California Los Angeles. Lemelson’s area of specialty is transcultural psychiatry; Southeast Asian Studies, particularly Indonesia; and psychological and medical anthropology.
Lemelson currently is a research anthropologist in the Semel Institute of Neuroscience UCLA, an adjunct professor of Anthropology at UCLA, and a visiting professor at USC. His scholarly work has appeared in numerous journals and books. Lemelson founded Elemental Productions in 2008, a documentary film company. He has directed and produced over a dozen ethnographic films related to culture, psychology and personal experience. He is also the founder and president of the Foundation for Psychocultural Research, which supports research and training in the social and neurosciences.
FILMOGRAPHY OF ELEMENTAL PRODUCTIONS:
SHADOWS AND ILLUMINATIONS (2011)
MEMORY OF MY FACE (2011)
RITUAL BURDENS (2011)
THE BIRD DANCER (2011)
KITES AND MONSTERS (2011)
STANDING ON THE EDGE OF A THORN (2012)