New York: A new film, titled ‘Little Obama’ is being made that reveals the US President’s childhood years in Indonesia.
And playing the young Obama is 12-year-old actor Hasan Faruq Ali, a New Mexico native who, like his inspiration, moved to Indonesia as a toddler.
"Hasan has the walk, he has the posture of Barry," the New York Daily News quoted Slamet Djanuadi, a childhood friend of Obama from 1967-1971 when he lived in Jakarta, as saying.
"But Barry was a better ping pong player," he added.
The film, produced by the Indonesian production company Multivision Plus, will premiere there June 17 to coincide with Obama`s planned visit to his former home.
‘Little Obama’ documents Obama’s life in Jakarta with his mother and stepfather from the age of six until he was ten years old.
And Screenwriter and co-director Damien Dematra has made it clear that this is not a film about Obama the world leader-to-be, but it is about Obama the kid.
"It’s not about politics, it’s just the story of a boy. It’s about his friendships, his hobbies, just a childhood story," he said.
And Hasan, being fluent in both English and the Indonesian language, was a natural fit to play Obama.
The young actor is the son of a white mother and African American father.
"It feels great to play Obama. I was shy about it at first ... But then it became easy and fun, especially acting as a very important character who left here to become president," said Hasan.
Two of Obama``s old friends, brothers Djanuadi and Yuniadi, are coaching Hasan to help him capture Obama’s youthful spirit.
The movie is based on Dematra``s fictionalised biography of Obama, ‘Obama Anak Menteng’, and is being filmed in the city of Bandung, about 110 miles southeast of Jakarta.
The book is the first of a planned trilogy.
Dematra said that he made the film to show that Obama would not be the man he is today if not for his Indonesian childhood.
"I just felt that this guy is an extraordinary person. The reason I’m doing this is I want people around the world to know that Obama can become who he is because of his background in Indonesia. The different religions and races, the pressures that he had. I want the film to inspire people," said Dematra.