Set amongst the visually ravishing widescreen vistas of rural Indonesia, this thoroughly enjoyable and delightfully deadpan adventure delivers a wily feminist spin on a western tale of murder and revenge.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2017
While she may be channelling the likes of Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino, Indonesian director Mouly Surya flips the script with this femme-centric, western-influenced tale of vengeance and justice set on the arid island of Sumba. It’s a place that steadfastly holds onto its traditional values and strict gender roles. Here the outlaws ride motorbikes and wield machetes, but they’re also polite enough to warn you they’re coming to rob you… or worse.
One such outlaw arrives at the remote homestead of widow Marlina (played by the fantastically stone-faced Marsha Timothy), announcing that he and his band will take her money and livestock, and threatens rape before requesting that she cook dinner for him and his cohorts. But Marlina has other ideas and soon she must make a long trek to the police station to report the crime, with a very special piece of evidence. — MM
“Mouly Surya has made the first Satay Western, and a flamingly feminist one at that… At once tightly controlled and simmering with righteous fury, it’s gorgeously lensed, atmospherically scored and moves inexorably toward a gratifying payoff.” — Maggie Lee, Variety