An Indonesian film that will premiere on Netflix, Ali & Ratu-Ratu Queens tells the story of the search for identity to the lives of Indonesian immigrants in New York.
Being a long-time immigrant in a foreign country makes Biyah, Cinta, Parti and Ance’s relationship very close, especially after the arrival of Ali, a young man who is looking for a mother as well as his identity. This story will be told in the film Ali & Queens Queens which premieres on Netflix on 17 June.
Iqbal Ramadhan as the main character Ali revealed, this film is very closely related to him and young people his age. At that age, they go through a process of self-discovery without coercion until they find it themselves. This is depicted in the character of Ali who is determined to find his mother in New York.
“From the beginning I heard the story, I was really excited, because more or less I felt very relatable to Ali’s character, a child who is looking for his identity abroad, to New York looking for his mother, who there met great women,” said Iqbal at the Ali & Queens Queens conference (9/6). “And when I first read the full script, I felt that this was something that was very close to me personally, close to what I had experienced, and I also believed that this was something that could represent my friends of the same age and generation to feel what it was like to search until I finally found it. Without force.”
The film, directed by Luki Kuswandi and writer Gina S. Noer, also widely tells how warm the relationship between Indonesian immigrants who gather in other countries is. While traveling to find his mother, Ali meets four Indonesian women in Queens. And they indirectly became Ali’s helpers while in that foreign place.
“Perhaps unconsciously and unplanned, eventually it becomes Ali’s own family and support system,” explained Iqbal.
Biyah (Asri Welas), Cinta (Happy Salma), Parti (Nirina Zubir), and Ance (Tika Panggabean) are immigrants from Indonesia who live in Queens. Even though they have lived in another country for a long time, they still have typical Indonesian values, from a close sense of kinship to a strong desire to help each other. Therefore, after meeting Ali who is also from Indonesia, they are happy to help find Mia (Marissa Adita).
As shown in the trailer, this film is mostly set in Queens. Nirina Zubir and Asri Welas revealed that the cast was given about a month to adopt the lifestyle there. They have to get used to the low temperatures in the city and the “Power Walk” that is characteristic of a New Yorker.
“The fun thing is, walking fast like a New Yorker is different because people there are in a hurry, so we were training for a week to become New Yorkers and how to become immigrants. And we really go to Queens and all cities in New York, so we feel that we are from there,” explained Asri Welas. Nirina added, “For us to run, but for New Yorkers it is walking. He said his name was Power Walk.”
In addition to the four women mentioned above, Iqbal will also compete with Aurora Ribero who plays Eva. Apparently, the two will have a light romance scene. Please note that Eva is Ance’s daughter, where her father has died since she was a child.
Iqbal hopes that the message they want to convey in the film Ali & Ratu-Ratu Queens can be well received by the public, especially in the midst of a pandemic that makes every meeting with the closest people more valuable.