Film about Obama's Muslim Roots Debuts in Jakarta

(PRESS TV) A film about US President Barack Obama will premiere in Jakarta, portraying his childhood days based on a book written by Damien Dematra.

Obama the Menteng Kid, which hit the Indonesian capital on Wednesday, promises a different perspective on the 44th president of the United States.

"Viewers, especially Westerners, will see a different world,” Co-director and writer of the Obama the Menteng Kid novel Damien Dematra told AFP.

“They'll see Obama eating chicken satay, not hamburgers. They'll see his neighbors and friends wearing checkered sarongs and Muslim caps."

According to Dematra, the bilingual film is based on interviews with Obama's surviving neighbors and friends claiming it to be "60 percent fact and 40 percent fiction."

The million-dollar film features a cast of little-known Indonesian actors and was shot in just over a month in the West Java city of Bandung which looks like the 1960s Menteng, the upscale Jakarta neighborhood where Obama lived with his mother and Indonesian stepfather from 1967 to 1971.

Twelve-year-old American Hasan Faruq Ali is cast as the young Obama or Barry as he was known to his schoolmates. With no experience in acting, Ali is the son of a mixed-race couple who moved from the US to Indonesia as a toddler.

Dematra believes the 100-minute film will remind Obama of his Indonesian days and revive his childhood memories.

"If Obama sees the film, I'm sure he'll have a couple of minutes of reflection about his past,” Dematra said. It will be a sweet memory for him."

Producers of Obama the Menteng Kid hope to release the film internationally in September.



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