Oh Brother Octopus

The sea nomads of Indonesia believe that with every newborn there is a twin brother in the form of an octopus. Rituals are carried out to appease the brother in the water and prevent misfortunes. When dishonor occurs, Jakarta is portrayed as the apocalyptic revenge of the brother octopus.

  • Florian Kunert
    Director
  • Stefan Voglsinger
    Sound
  • Ian Purnell
    Editor
  • Florian Kunert
    Editor
  • Lara Rodriguez Cruz
    Editor
  • Andrianus Oetjoe
    AD
  • Stefan Galler
    Music
  • The Strangers
    Music
  • Florian Kunert
    Producer
  • Yanto
    Key Cast
  • Swarno
    Key Cast
  • Budima
    Key Cast
  • Astor
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    experimental anthropology, artistic documentary hybrid, Nature ocean indigenous
  • Runtime:
    27 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Germany
  • Country of Filming:
    Indonesia
  • Language:
    Indonesian
  • Shooting Format:
    HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1:1,85
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    Yes
  • International Film Festival Berlin - Shorts Competition
    Berlin
    Germany
    February 14, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival - Shorts Joy Competition
    Jihlava
    Czech Republic
    October 27, 2017
    Czech Premiere
  • Ânûû-rû Âboro Film Festival
    Pondimie
    New Caledonia
    October 18, 2017
    Best international Short
  • German Short Film Prize LOLA
    Cologne
    Germany
    November 23, 2017
    LOLA for Best documentary
  • Miradas Doc - International Competition
    Guia de Isora, Tenerife
    Spain
    February 2, 2018
    Spanish
  • Doker - International Competition
    Moscow
    Russian Federation
    April 13, 2018
    Russian Premiere
    Special Mention
  • Festival Ânûû-rû Âboro - International Competition
    Poindimie
    France
    October 16, 2017
    French premiere
    Best international short film
  • Festival dei Popoli - International Competition
    Florence
    Italy
    October 12, 2017
    European Premiere
  • Astra Film Festival - Competition
    Sibiu
    Romania
    October 18, 2017
    Romanian premiere
  • Busan International Short Film Festival
    Busan
    Korea, Republic of
    April 25, 2018
    Korean Premiere
  • International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival Docudays
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    March 25, 2018
    Ukrainian premiere
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
    Vancouver
    Canada
    May 13, 2018
    Canadian
  • Shortfilmfestival Kurzsüchtig
    Leipzig
    Germany
    April 12, 2018
    Leipzig
    Special Mention
  • Molodist international Film Festival
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    May 29, 2018
  • Festival Internacional de Curtas de Belo Horizonte
    Belo Horizonte
    Brazil
    August 10, 2018
    International Competition
  • Nara International Film Festival
    Nara
    Japan
    September 19, 2018
    Japanese Premiere
    Nara Competition
Distribution Information
  • Academy of Media Arts, Cologne
    Country: Germany
Director Biography - Florian Kunert

Florian Kunert is a German filmmaker. After his degree in audiovisual media in 2010 he trained six locals from the Khayelitsha township in South Africa in documentary filmmaking and directed the 360° video installation Shack Theatre. In 2012 he studied documentary directing at the EICTV in Cuba and founded his film production company Highway Spirit. Florian lived for one year in Indonesia, researching and shooting his latest documentary Oh Brother Octopus. At the moment he is taking part in the postgraduate program of the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Most of the Bajo sea nomads have settled in houses on stilts in the Malay Archipelago. When I was visiting the Kaledupa Island, one of the first things I learnt was the legend of the Octopus. The locals believe that when a mother gives birth, if her child is a ‚chosen one‘ then she also gives birth to a twin brother in the form of an octopus who becomes their life-long companion, communicating with the child through dreams.
In the day to day reality of living on a remote island, I also saw that some of the community members were forced to hunt the octopus in order to sell it and make living. I was drawn to this phenomenon of how the functions of a capatilist civilization have reached the shores of the most remote communities of Indonesia and have impacted on its culture.
During this time, I was living in Indonesia for a year and was mostly based in Jakarta. Compared to Wakatobi Islands, the mega city appeared to me like a dystopic, urban environment, where avoiding pollution and traffic takes up a big part of the day. Despite this apocalyptic environment people still hunt and gather, only now it is for rubbish instead of sea urchins.
Recently the Indonesian Government gave way to a 40 billion Dollar project that aims to build a giant sea wall 20km out in the ocean, off the coast of Jakarta. Dozens of artificial islands will be constructed. It is a move back to living on the ocean. But who will be able to afford this new artifical existance?
For the rubbish-hunting men of Jakarta, this new start remains an untouchable way of life.