Indonesia

Usmar Ismail – Lewat Djam Malam AKA After the Curfew (1954)

Giving voice to the anguish of a nation fighting for its soul, Usmar Ismail’s After the Curfew follows the descent into disillusionment of a former freedom fighter who is unable to readjust to civilian life following the revolution that gave Indonesia its independence from the Netherlands. Steeped in moody atmospherics and psychological tension, the film struck its national cinema like a bolt of lightning, illuminating on-screen, for the first time and with unflinching realism, the emotional toll of Indonesian society’s postcolonial struggles. Read More »

Patsy Asch & Timothy Asch & Linda Conner – A Balinese Trance Seance (1981)

A Balinese Trance Seance
Bringing offerings of rice, flowers, and woven coconut leaves, clients visit Jero in her household shrine to determine the cause of their son’s death. Jero lights an incense brazier, sprinkles holy water, and recites mantras as preliminaries to trance. Several ancestors and finally the young son speak through her voice, revealing the nature of his premature death (witchcraft) and his wishes for cremation. In contrast to other films about Balinese trance which focus on spectacular, community performances, this film provides an intimate view of a fascinating process of communication between Jero, the spirits, and her clients who are at one point moved to tears. Read More »

Kamila Andini – Sekala Niskala aka The Seen and Unseen (2017)

One day in a hospital room, 10-year-old Tantri realises she will not have much more time with her twin brother Tantra. Tantra’s brain is weakening and he has begun to lose his senses one by one. He now spends most of his time lying in bed, while Tantri has to accept the reality that she must soon face life alone. This situation opens up something in Tantri’s mind: she keeps waking up in the middle of the night from a dream and seeing Tantra. The night becomes their playground. Tantri experiences a magical journey and an emotional relationship through body expressions, finding herself between reality and imagination, loss and hope. Read More »

Joko Anwar – Janji Joni AKA Joni’s Promise (2005)

Synopsis:
Joni (Nicholas Saputra) is obsessed with film, and he’s not the only one, as he points out in a pre-credit sequence, in which we hear various Jakarta residents comparing their own lives to the movies that they love. Joni has made the movies his life, even if it’s just as a delivery man, using his motorbike to bring film reels from one theater in the city to the next, so that the canny exhibitors can save money on prints. Joni prides himself on always getting to his destination in time for the reel changes, so the screenings aren’t interrupted. Read More »

Riri Riza – Gie (2005)

Based on a true character, GIE is a central yet unknown political activist/writer in the 60’s, the darkest era of Indonesian history. His life is a clash between a high drama of political events, and small world of friendship and romance. He is falling apart when he sees that his constant battle for justice and truth gives labor to another dictatorial regime. As time passes the people around him adjust to the new regime, but he continues to fight. His uncompromised idealism drives people away. His friends left him; the woman he loves rejects him. Only the beauty of nature can rescue and free him. Read More »

Sammaria Simanjuntak – Cin(T)a (2009)

Cina was a Chinese-Indonesian Christian young man who got his name ‘Cina’ (China, in English) by misunderstanding in his birth registry and is pursuing his dream to get a scholarship in an architecture faculty in Bandung, Indonesia. He was against his father’s plan for him to leave for Singapore where there’s a scholarship offer with 6 years working contract after, so he could be able to get a chance to be in the governments and to become a governor for Tapanuli, a new province of his dream. Read More »

Mouly Surya – Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017)

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In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina (Marsha Timothy), a young widow, is attacked and robbed of all her livestock by a gang of seven bandits. She then defends herself, setting out on a journey to find justice, empowerment, retribution and redemption. But the road is long, especially when she begins to be haunted by the ghost of her victim. A stunning Scope western set to a Morricone-inspired score, this unique tale of female cinematic revenge takes no prisoners. Read More »