Photo by Marco Bianchetti on Unsplash

For 3 hours straight, he stared in front of the screen. He should be writing, but the emotional weight and trauma that happened last night put all of his functions on hold.

It was supposed to be a night of fun and reconciliation for the group of 3. Unfortunately, as the alcohol start to break down, the honesty escaped. Before he had his confession rejected. Now he is forced to listen to her rants on her crush, adding insults to injury. Her best friend subtly tries to stop her to no avail.

In the end, his crush breaks down, afraid that she’s going to lose her best friend, her secret place, admitting she was at fault for being insensitive. They both end up hugging tearfully. But it wasn’t enough for him, as the pain of the situation will forever hold in the memory until it fades.

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A shot of bizarre friendship between Nana and her husband’s mistress’ Ino in Before, Now & Then (Nana) (Source: Wild Bunch)

Living in turmoil times in the struggle for independence, Nana finally found peace after remarrying a 2nd husband. However, she finds herself still haunted by the loss of his husband and child, all while simultaneously trying to find freedom as a woman.

A period film, Nana seems to find its way of relating to contemporary issues of women in Indonesia. The voyeuristic positioning in the cinematography emphasizes the gaze of society; how women would never be safe from gossip.

The bizarre Kamila Andini script should be celebrated, as Nana, herself befriends her husband’s mistress Ino. Somehow, this represents a powerful symbol of united women in harsh conditions despite their rivalries. Through the charismatic performance of Happy Salma, Nana became a quietly powerful character study that not only represents Sundanese or Indonesian women. Rather, women in the whole world.

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The tense relationship between Kevin Ardilova and Arswendy Bening Swara's character in Autobiography (2022) (Source: Kawankawan Media)

Not only famous people, yet even an ordinary, unknown person could tell their own unique autobiography. Take a look at Rakib, a young man who becomes the servant of a retired general Purna who runs for an election campaign. Seems usual, but the start of their relationship creates interesting events for the audience to watch.

Not a sweet story, but rather a bitter one. in his debut Makbul Mubarak shows signs of auteurship, using long takes and spaces in cinematography to symbolize power and domination between those two. Who could realize how those symbols is an important theme in the story that criticizes the state of the Indonesian government.

While certainly fictional, thanks to both of the main leads we become convinced that this could be someone else’s autobiography.

BIFF Shortform Film Reviews

8 stories

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Gregorius Kohar

An ordinary man who loves movies and aiming to become writer. Writes: Short fiction | Reviews | Analysis | Thoughts