“Dry Rain” presents a glimpse of Anang Nursyam’s life, a self-assured rain shaman who lives in the village area of Tasikmalaya, West Java, Indonesia. Anang spends most of his time outside work cultivating his own livestock, and when he’s not on the farm, he enriches his knowledge of divinity, either through discussion with his friends or meditation. Throughout the film, the audience sees how he works on set and also remotely from home, hired to prevent the rain. By the end of the film, we find out how he got into the business and why his employer hired him in the first place, all of which combine to communicate the culture and glimpse the complex ways the Sundanese Indonesians believe.
Bahasa Indonesia, Sundanese
I grew up in Indonesia, a place where believes and mysticism rooted in its people. About four years ago I met my wife in New York and got married in our hometown, Jakarta. When we were preparing our wedding, the venue organizer offered us the service of Pawang Hujan/Rain Shaman, but having grown up in a modern Muslim family, we knew our parents wouldn’t approve the use of their service since it’s considered as an act of shrik (the practice of idolatry/polytheism). I choose this subject because as an Indonesian who grew up in a modern Muslim family and attended a private Islamic school in the capital city for almost 11 years, I still heard and read about mystical stories all throughout Indonesia. Even though we were told not to believe in shrik, it was impossible to grow up without hearing mystical traditional tales. By making this film, I hope to discover more about how this traditional mysticism could survive in an era where technology, science, and external religious influences dominate the people of Jakarta’s life.