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  7. Before, Now & Then (Nana)

Before, Now & Then (Nana)

Kamila Andini, Indonesia 2022, 86 Min., OV with English subs

The only Indonesian film in 10 years to enter the Biennale competition, Kamila Andini’s period drama is set against the backdrop of the 1960s political turmoil, general Suharto’s takeover and the purge against alleged communists. The film delegates these societal shifts to the background and the inner life, memories, dreams, hopes and desires of Nana take center stage. She is a beautiful woman, married to a wealthy plantation owner, yet the unspeakable trauma of losing her previous husband, father and firstborn child linger. Beyond a patriarchal everyday, where women are played off against each other and forced to raise compliant daughters, Nana carves out moments of freedom and joy with her husband’s mistress. They embark on an unlikely friendship to become intimate companions in the daily fight against a shared burden of patriarchy. Far from being a simplistic critique, the film subtly lays bare how ultimately everyone suffers in a chauvinist society.