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Shape of the Moon


Finding its place in the daily lives of the Sjamsuddin family, SHAPE OF THE MOON resonates deeply of faith and gratitude, despite the tightly woven links between Muslim religion and Indonesian politics. The vérité style creates an experiential rhythm as the camera silently weaves in and out of tunnels and water wells, and lingers delicately as characters sleep, eat, and live. In the largest Muslim country in the world, among a population of 240 million people, Helmrich is able to find quiet moments with three generations of a Christian family.


  • “Shape of the Moon” is a documentary of such stunning visual grace that while watching it at Sundance, I occasionally wondered if I was mistaken about its category and the film was actually an entry in the dramatic world cinema competition that had very naturalistic actors. … they show that the documentary can be elevated to a level of poetry.
    Jeremy Mathews, FILMTHREAT.COM
  • Leonard Retel Helmrich's docu, "Shape of the Moon" reps an ambitious melange of ethnography, family drama and expressionist style.
    Leslie Felperin, VARIETY

Festival Participation

  • Amsterdam International Documentary Festival, Netherlands - 2004
    Joris Ivens Award (Grand Jury Award)
  • Sundance Film Festival, USA - 2005
    Grand Jury Award - World Cinema Competition
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival, China - 2005
    Humanitarian Award
  • Netherlands Film Festival - 2005
    Best Feature Documentary
  • Chicago Documentary Film Festival, USA - 2005
    Excellence Award in Cinematography
  • Full Frame Film Festival, USA - 2005
    Jury Award
  • Adelaide International Film Festival, Australia - 2005
  • Full Frame International Film Festival, USA - 2005
  • Nyon International Film Festival, Switzerland - 2005
  • Seattle International Film Festival, USA - 2005
  • Munich Doc Festival, Germany - 2005
  • Silverdocs Film Festival, USA - 2005
  • San Francisco International Film Festival, USA - 2005
  • Montreal International Documentary Film Festival, Canada - 2005

Additional Materials

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