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Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

An Indonesian feminist revenge thriller about a women getting back at her attackers.

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Extensive long shots show a small cabin in the middle of the dusty Indonesian steppe landscape. Warm sepia tones and bright blue skies give the scenery a “wild West“ aesthetic. A cheerful spaghetti Western sound can be heard, a friendly pop variation of Morricone which includes the clacking of coconuts. We are, very clearly, in a Western. Young widow Marlina (Marsha Timothy) lives in the house in the wasteland with her animals and the mummified corpse of her husband, who sits in the corner of the living room. A gangster on a motorcycle drives up and threatens Marlina: his men will come and take her animals and then they will all rape her. And now they want soup. Marlina bows her head, goes to the kitchen, and prepares the soup, but beneath the meek posture there‘s a cold resolve. Marlina will defend herself and she will take revenge in a most spectacular way.

Director Mouly Surya has a made a strange, feminist Western in the incredibly dry landscape on the island of Suma. MARLINA starts off as a straight, dark rape revenge story that captures the protagonist‘s contained wrath in calm, brilliantly composed images. When Marlina makes her way to the police, the tone changes into a laconic road movie. Marline meets her pregnant friend Novi on the bus and talks to her and other women about birth. Later on she eats a very good satay dish and gets to know a lonely girl. The local police prove to be no help, the bus driver is a coward, and Novi‘s husband is an oaf. The women have to help each other outside in the wilderness, which could also be called the patriarchy.

Toni Ohms

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
Indonesien 2017, 90 min
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Mouly Surya
Author: Mouly Surya, Rama Adi, Garin Nugroho
DOP: Yunus Pasolang
Montage: Kelvin Nugroho
Music: Zeke Khaseli
Distributor: eksystent Filmverleih
Cast: Marsha Timothy, Yoga Pratama, Egy Fedly, Dea Panendra
FSK: 16
Release: 18.01.2018

Website
IMDB

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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