Previously at the ICA - Films
17 Oct 2008 – 20 Oct 2008
Indonesian master Garin Nugroho is one of the few directors who hates repeating himself: the form, theme and setting of each of his films is different. So it's no surprise that he follows Opera Jawa with a film about contemporary women, or that he sets it in the distinctive culture of the ancient|modern holiday island Bali. He interweaves the stories of three unrelated women, only one of them a Balinese native. The superstitious Maharani, who was adopted as a child and knows nothing of her birth parents, comes looking for a mystical understanding of motherhood, but finds herself caught up in a baby-trafficking racket. The 40-year-old Dewi is pregnant, but a scan reveals that her foetus is malformed and would die soon after birth; she agonises over having an abortion. And the airhead teenage celebrity Nian flees to Bali when her father is arrested on corruption charges; she latches on to a surrogate 'father' in the person of the elderly artist Darma, only to find that he's risking his life by performing in a Balinese death ritual. Social realism meets mysticism, topical commentary meets poetry.
LFF programme text by Tony Rayns.
Dir Garin Nugroho, Scr Armantono, with Marcella Zalianty, Nadia Saphira and Ayu Laksmi, Indonesia 2008, 104 mins