We Were Indonesia demands: stare down the grey swarm
About halfway through Ollie Pasnarov's We Were Indonesia, the iconoclastic documentarian interviews a sweaty, obsequious ad guy at an unnamed holotourism studio about their virtual Indonesian package, which allows users to visit a squeaky-clean facsimile of Indonesia from the comfort of their own home. Behind him, so brazen that it almost comes off as a joke, there's a poster cycling between images of mist-shrouded mountains, verdant rice fields, and an ocean sunset that reads: ""See Java as it was meant to be seen.""
The poster stands as a potent symbol of everything Pasnarov is striving against in We Were Indonesia. Through repurposed news segments, contemporary interviews, and exhaustive personal analysis, Pasnarov explores the history and legacy of the 2041 nanotech disaster at the Citarum River. By the time his narrative concludes, he has not just condemned those responsible for the Citarum, but indicted our collective habit of shrugging off the "trial-and-error" horrors of the 2040s in favor of a simplified, hagiographic account of the Great "Claw-Back."
Pasnarov's retro sensibilities and obsession with linear, two-dimensional film techniques have long been the favorite talking points of his critics, but here his passion drives him to wield established techniques with devastating surgical precision. Watching We Were Indonesia, we cannot look away. The film compels us to face the lacerating truth that in our quest to turn back the tide, not everyone made it to the shore.
In perhaps the most excoriating moment in recent [DATA CORRUPTED]