"Angklung is an Indonesian traditional musical instrument made of bamboo. One of its main principles is “Mudah” (easy). So, everybody can play it. No musical background is needed.
Angklung has been recognised as world’s intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO since 2010. We have to play and promote it, otherwise the status will be revoked. We set a mission to attend Zakopane Festival, one of the biggest folklore competitions in Europe. 35 teenagers were selected, and to prove the angklung principle, most of them never played angklung before. Irma (43) with 25 years’ experience of teaching angklung was chosen to conduct the group.
The kids entered a seven month-intensive training. On the first day, they were asked to write a letter to themselves. The letters were then sealed and can only be open on their last day in Europe. Whoever is able to read the letter, he/she has completed the journey. That’s the mission.
The film follows the group’s preparation in Indonesia and 32-day journey across Europe. From Zakopane’s rejection letter to problems with broken bus, sleeping at the airport and “make or break” situation where they have to catch the plane home. The film also provides entertaining insight into cross-cultural communication, highlighting cultural differences.
On their final day in Europe, every kid was asked to read out their letters. Everybody broke in tears, so did Irma. She did not only survive the journey, but it has transformed her to one of the finest angklung conductors the country has ever seen."