BEFORE, NOW & THEN
“A woman must be good at keeping secrets,” housewife Nana (Happy Salma) tells her young daughter as she carefully tends to her hair. Like its immaculately composed protagonist, Before, Now & Then is keenly attuned to the discrepancy between appearance and reality. Nana is a survivor whose life was upended when a violent political coup led to the murder of her father and the disappearance of her husband. Years later, Nana has remade herself as the wife of wealthy, older plantation owner Mr. Darga (Arswendy Bening Swara). Nana begins to feel sidelined by Mr. Darga’s infidelities and starts up an unlikely friendship with his mistress. Meanwhile, a figure from Nana’s past makes a shocking return. After making a splash with last year’s Yuni, director Kamila Andini returns with an even richer and more stylistically assured work, evoking the lush period dramas of Wong Kar-wai even as its portrayal of a woman’s struggle for autonomy carries a potent contemporary charge.
CAST: Happy Salma, Laura Basuki, Arswendy Bening Swara, Ibnu Jamil
In Competition: Narrative Feature
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