ALUK will explore the seismic cultural shift that Toraja is currently undergoing and the ancient way of life that’s at stake.
Ne Minda, one of the last followers of Aluk-To-Dolo (The Way of The Ancestors), laments the changes he is seeing in his community. The ancient animism that he practices rests upon two central pillars: a connection to the ancestral realm and environmental harmony. This philosophy is what is at risk of being lost forever, as the Torajan population increasingly abandons Aluk-To-Dolo.
His family, ancient beliefs and ritual customs are confronted with an increasingly westernised global culture and economy. This intergenerational family dynamic between rebellious-spirited Ne Minda, his daughter, hardworking matriarch Ma Adel, and her children Gerisa and Marsel, gives us crucial insight into the evolution of Torajan identity at this pivotal juncture. As we explore their individual relationships, as well as their relationship to the community and their environment; the stakes of this evolution become all the more evident. The world and culture that Ne Minda comes from and practices is in its death throes.
With the famous Torajan funeral ceremonies as a backdrop, the grieving process mirrors Ne Minda’s own coming to terms with the changing cultural identity of Toraja. The beautiful mountainous scenery the setting, ALUK will be a sensorial and intimate exploration of the Torajan attitude towards death and community at a moment of critical cultural shift, viewed through the eyes of an ageing knowledge man and his family.