Nana (Berlinale review)

Nana (Berlinale review)

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 gives us with Nana a look into an Indonesian woman of the 60’s. Nana may now live in a rich house, having a husband that respects her and her kids around her, but her sleep reveals her painful past that she herself tries to make sense of. Happy Salma portraits Nana gently and truthfully with an exceptional elegance magnetizing the camera. The films explores her relationship with her current husband and her unexpected friendship with a woman in her voyage to find what she really wants of her life in this turbulent period in Indonesia’s history. Andini give us a look on the traditions, legends and particularities of the Indonesian society at this point of time, without ever losing the main focus of Nana and the way that she views everything from her prespective.

The soundtrack of the film is one of its strong points. No matter if it’s a cello piece or a local Indonesian piece that the orchestra recites in Nana’s living room, it’s always beautiful and resonates immediately to the film plot. But the story of the film is rather poor for such a historical time and even Nana’s story, apart from her new friendship, feels underdeveloped.

Grade 2/5

by Kamila Andini
with Happy Salma, Laura Basuki, Arswendy Bening Swara, Ibnu Jamil, Rieke Diah Pitaloka
Country: Indonesia Year: 2022
Runtime: 103’

Share on Social Media