MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 22, 2024: YUNI

If there’s any universal truth about teenagers, it’s that the process of growing up and finding their way in the world usually involves angst, big feelings, and at least a bit of rebellion. Such is the case in Kamila Andini’s poignant coming-of-age drama Yuni, which follows a bright, thoughtful Indonesian 16-year-old who yearns for something other than the traditional path that’s been laid out before her but isn’t sure how to escape living a conventional life.

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BEFORE, NOW & THEN – Review by Diane Carson

Before, Now & Then follows an Indonesian woman’s readjustment. Indonesian director Kamila Andini brings a haunting, historically grounded story to gorgeous life in Before, Now & Then. Set in West Java in the 1960s, wife and mother Nana, has escaped the civil war which forced President Sukarno to relinquish power in 1967 to Suharto. The disappearance of her husband during that tumultuous time haunts Nana’s recurring, terrifying nightmares.

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BEFORE, NOW & THEN – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Early in the Indonesian period drama Before, Now & Then, a young girl asks her mother, Nana, why women with such long hair keep it in a bun. “A woman has to be good at keeping secrets,” Nana says. Nana is good at hiding hers, but as Before, Now & Then unfolds, writer-director Kamila Andini demonstrates how memories haunt us and hopes become real, spurring painful consequences.

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YUNI (TIFF2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

internal lives of young people in Indonesia is filmmaker Kamila Andini’s primary focus, but Yuni is as much a sensory, immersive portrait inviting us into the world of her characters as it is an exercise in pure storytelling. With Yuni’s signature passion for all things purple (so much so that she engages in minor theft), the her world – her ‘true’ world – is one filled with color and movement, particularly when hanging out with her friends, chatting about Instagram, cute teachers, sexuality and more serious things, like their school’s attempt to introduce virginity exams to verify the ‘purity’ of its women students.

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