They Call Me Babu Wins at Dok.Fest
The film, which world-premiered at IDFA 2019, tells the story of Alima. She worked for a Dutch family as their babu-nanny-in the former Dutch East Indies. She tells her story of how she came to work for the family, taking care of their baby Jantje. She accompanies them for a short stay in the Netherlands. Upon her return, she lives through the Japanese occupation and the battle for Indonesia's independence. Throughout these years, Alima is loyal to the child, but at the same time she's loyal to her lover Riboet, who is an independence fighter. The story plays out against the backdrop of World War II and the struggle for independence, over unique footage from various archives.
Jury statement: "An emotional journey back in time uncovers unseen footage of colonial Indonesia and boat travel to Holland. We meet a nanny, Babu, whose love for the Dutch family and its children enchanted all three members of the jury. A film that connects a personal story with dramatic events where history becomes alive and talks to us on a profoundly human level. The director's sensibility in storytelling is stunning. The VIKTOR DOK.horizonte goes to THEY CALL ME BABU by Sandra Beerends."
The nominees were films that direct their attention to countries with unstable structures. The ceremony for the main prizes took place online on Saturday, May 16th and the festival runs online until May 24th.