Tales of the Waria

Neither Feared nor Respected

Today I filmed interviews with my crew. I wanted them to have a chance to talk about the filmmaking process and about one another. Tiara called Aldy “Mr. Sleepy” and he retorted by calling her “Mrs. Late.” Interestingly enough, they both described me as being a perfectionist and riding them hard… sometimes too hard. Tiara […]

A Secret Weapon

Our crew has been joined by two new members: Irfan, a young photographer from Makassar, and Pak Handi Ilfat, a professional sound man from Jakarta. It’s so good having them here. They’re both hard-working and good-natured—a great combination when you’re working long hours with subjects that can be somewhat demanding! I often joke with Handi […]

The Tropics

Had a bit of a scare a few days ago. While filming Mami Ria in Toko Harapan, a clothing store, I started to experience dizziness and extreme stomach pain. The store owner was kind enough to get me a chair and some water. My skin started to turn a sickly yellow. And my hands cramped […]

New Directions

My plans to film Sakati, the waria with the young boyfriend, have been temporarily set aside. Sakati lives on a remote island 6 hours away by boat. There’s no electricity or cell phone service there. Trying to get in touch with her has been, as you can imagine, close to impossible. I’ve written her a […]

Back in Town!

I’ve been back in Indonesia for a week now and it feels good. Like putting on a pair of comfortable gloves. Yes, I’m sweaty, grimy, and exhausted. But I’m back in the throes of it. Able to interact with my subjects, able to remember why I started this project to begin with. When I first […]

Zoom, zoom, zoom…

Things going well as I march into my final weeks in Makassar. If all goes according to plan, this could possibly be the last missive you receive from me because I’ll be home in no time at all (Nov. 7)! The focus of the film has shifted in the past couple of weeks. I’ve stopped […]

Makassar Is Hot.

Life continues on in Makassar as usual– hot, hot, hot. This is no Bali, to be sure. Despite being a port city (the gateway to Indonesia’s East!), Makassar has no soothing zephyrs or scenic beaches. Only lots of crowded fishing markets and industrial docks. Tourists don’t make their way here often, so I tend to […]

Indonesia Raya!

I’ve reached Indonesia safely! My stomach is healthy and my spirits are high. I’m safely ensconced in Yogyakarta studying Bahasa Indonesia with 5 excellent tutors. They’re all excited about my project about the waria (one actually admitted to me that he had once spurned the love of a waria and regretted it!) and are designing […]

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