Oct 11

Before, Now & Then

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Nana, a gentle, beautiful young woman, escapes a violent anti-communist purge. Afterwards she lives comfortably as the second wife of a rich Sundanese man but her past re-emerges in her dreams. The 1960s in Indonesia were a period of dramatic political change and turmoil, with Suharto’s coup ousting Sukarno and leading to a violent anti-communist purge. Nana, a gentle, beautiful young woman, has been badly affected by the conflict. Her husband was kidnapped and taken into the forest. Although she managed to escape from the gang leader who wanted to force her to marry him, the incident cost her father his life and drove her into poverty. Several years later, she is living comfortably as the second wife of a rich Sundanese man, with a maid to help her adjust to her new environment. But Nana’s past re-emerges in her dreams. Kamila Andini’s elegant direction effectively adopts her protagonist’s point of view, integrating her trauma into the film’s narration. Played with subtlety by Happy Salma, the secretive Nana seems never quite certain about her husband’s death and her memories are, perhaps for her own good, not always complete. This ambiguity informs the film and, combined with lush cinematography and a deep sense of nostalgia, makes Nana an elegiac wonder. At its heart lies an unexpected female friendship that feels like a crucial lifeline among the sea of adversities caused by men’s brutality. Show more

2D CS/ES 15 info

Holy Spider

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A journalist descends into the dark underbelly of the Iranian holy city of Mashhad as she investigates the serial killings of sex workers by the so called "Spider Killer", who believes he is cleansing the streets of sinners. At night, a serial killer in Mashhad is on the prowl, luring victims into his web. The dead are women, prostitutes. While the police ignore the crimes, Rahim, a journalist from Teheran, wanders the dark neighbourhoods of the holy city in search of the truth. Holy Spider is based on a true story, with the title of the film referring to the serial killer's nickname. In 2001, Saeed Hanaei killed sixteen prostitutes in the city of Mashhad, deeming them "impure". His trial created a lot of buzz in Iran, not only because of the horror of what happened, but also because some media and conservative elements made him out to be a hero. Show more

2D CS/ES CS 15 info