Standing on the Edge of a Thorn


A family grapples with poverty, mental illness, and the sex trade (34 min)

Streaming on Vimeo On Demand

Shot over the course of 12 years, Stand­ing on the Edge of a Thorn explores the rural ori­gins of the Indone­sian sex trade. The film is nar­rated by Lisa Ariyani, the daugh­ter of Imam Rohani—a retired civil ser­vant strug­gling with a men­tal disorder—and Tri Suryani, an unwed preg­nant teenager.

Trapped by tra­di­tional val­ues that stig­ma­tize their rela­tion­ship, Tri is even­tu­ally lead into a life of pros­ti­tu­tion and vio­lence. It is against this unsta­ble fam­ily back­drop that Lisa matures into a young woman and the film doc­u­ments her strug­gle to under­stand her par­ents’ predica­ments while she her­self is being drawn into the sex trade.

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