The Wedding Contract: A Balinese Love Story


Sequoia 1 Thu, Oct 9, 2014 5:00 PM
Rafael 2 Fri, Oct 10, 2014 12:15 PM
Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Running Time:92
Director:David Dawkins
Producer:D.A. Pennebaker
Chris Hegedus
David Dawkins
Screenwriter:David Dawkins
Cinematographer:David Dawkins
Editor:David Dawkins
Print Source:David Dawkins
Note Writer:Margarita Landazuri


A rollicking, cross-cultural Romeo-and-Juliet story without the tragedy, The Wedding Contract chronicles filmmaker David Dawkins’s decades-long love affair with his Balinese wife-and the life and customs of Bali itself. Dawkins has been living in a Balinese village for several years. His neighbors affectionately refer to him by their word for “drifting,” since that’s how they regard his footloose existence. After a two-year romance with Mariyati, from a neighboring town, he finally appears ready to commit. But when his efforts to win her father’s approval are rejected, Dawkins’s own village rallies around him with an elaborate plan to allow the couple to marry without parental consent. The scheme-part of a centuries-old tradition-includes a written “contract of love,” religious conversion, and a kidnapping that is as intricately choreographed as a legong danced by Balinese girls. WORLD PREMIERE

Additional Information

David Dawkins started a theater company that toured the Mississippi River for ten years, building a raft each summer in St. Louis and floating downstream to New Orleans, performing theater in a circus tent at thirty river towns along the way.

Academy Award recipient D.A. Pennebaker spent a summer filming the raft tour and joined Dawkins in Bali, Indonesia to film his theater work with Balinese dancers and musicians. Dawkins helped edit the Bali footage, and stayed with Pennebaker/Hegedus Inc. for twelve years, shooting and editing films such as The War Room, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Depeche Mode 101. Dawkins went on to create Radical Avid in New York City, which he ran for twenty years while shooting and editing independent films.