MARLINA THE MURDERER IN FOUR ACTS
Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak
Directed by Mouly Surya
Official Selection, Director’s Fortnight, 2017 Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection, 2017 Busan International Film Festival
Swords fly and heads roll as widowed Marlina is visited by Markus, a violin-playing stranger who announces his demands: food, livestock, and sex – for him and all of his friends. As her mummified husband stares from a corner, Marlina combines wiles with weaponry and makes short work of the bandits and rapists. She sets off for a remote police station with a decapitated head swinging from a market bag, a trip complicated by Markus’ friends who want the head back at any cost. She is joined by a pregnant woman as chatty as Marlina is monosyllabic, and an unfazed grandma determined to deliver a dowry.
One of the standout directors in Indonesia’s new cinematic moment, Mouly Surya brings us the claustrophobic standoffs of Dragon Inn, the avenging angels of Kill Bill, and the sweeping vistas and solitary lives of an existential western. This is an Indonesia unlike any seen onscreen before, with the expansive dry plains captured in breathtaking cinematography and a thrilling atmospheric score drawing from Morricone and Indonesian folk beats. Inspired by the sighting of a man casually carrying a head, as well as women in her own family, Surya adapts the revenge thriller to the afterlife traditions of Sumba, a remote eastern island of Indonesia.
MARLINA THE MURDERER is a remarkable genre film of restrained anger, deadpan humor, unabashed carnage, and unforgettably unruly women. The result is as deliciously deadly as a bowl of mama’s famous chicken soup. –Christina Ree
Co-Presented by: Bionic Sisters Productions