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After the Curfew

Usmar Ismail, Indonesia, 1954

A little-known, passionate tale of a revolutionary hero returning to civilian life after the liberation from Dutch colonial rule that took top honours at Indonesia’s Citra Film Awards, 1955.

Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew) is a passionate work looking directly at a crucial moment of conflict in Indonesian history: the aftermath of the four-year Republican revolution which brought an end to Dutch rule. This is a visually and dramatically potent film about anger and disillusionment, about the dream of a new society cheapened and misshapen by government repression on the one hand and bourgeois complacency on the other.

The film’s director, Usmar Ismail, is generally considered to be the father of Indonesian cinema, and his entire body of work was directly engaged with ongoing evolution of Indonesian society. He began as a playwright and founder of Maya, a drama collective that began during the years of Japanese occupation. And it was during this period when Ismail developed an interest in filmmaking. He began making films for Andjar Asmara in the late 40s and then started Perfini (Perusahaan Film Nasional Indonesian) in 1950, which he considered his real beginning as a filmmaker. Lewat Djam Malam, a co-production between Perfini and Djamaluddin Malik’s company Persari, was perhaps Ismail’s greatest critical and commercial success.
A little-known, passionate tale of a revolutionary hero returning to civilian life after the liberation from Dutch colonial rule that took top honours at Indonesia’s Citra Film Awards, 1955.

Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew) is a passionate work looking directly at a crucial moment of conflict in Indonesian history: the aftermath of the four-year Republican revolution which brought an end to Dutch rule. This is a visually and dramatically potent film about anger and disillusionment, about the dream of a new society cheapened and misshapen by government repression on the one hand and bourgeois complacency on the other.

The film’s director, Usmar Ismail, is generally considered to be the father of Indonesian cinema, and his entire body of work was directly engaged with ongoing evolution of Indonesian society. He began as a playwright and founder of Maya, a drama collective that began during the years of Japanese occupation. And it was during this period when Ismail developed an interest in filmmaking. He began making films for Andjar Asmara in the late 40s and then started Perfini (Perusahaan Film Nasional Indonesian) in 1950, which he considered his real beginning as a filmmaker. Lewat Djam Malam, a co-production between Perfini and Djamaluddin Malik’s company Persari, was perhaps Ismail’s greatest critical and commercial success.
Duration
103 minutes
Language
OV Indonesian
Subtitles
German, French, English
Video Quality
1080p
Available in
Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein
Before, Now & Then
Kamila Andini
Indonesia
103′
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’s elegant direction effectively adopts her protagonist’s point of view, integrating her trauma into the film’s narration. Played with subtlety by Happy Salma, the secretive Nana seems never quite certain about her husband’s death and her memories are, perhaps for her own good, not always complete. This ambiguity informs the film and, combined with lush cinematography and a deep sense of nostalgia, makes Nana an elegiac wonder. At its heart lies an unexpected female friendship that feels like a crucial lifeline among the sea of adversities caused by men’s brutality.
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Yuni
Kamila Andini
Indonesia
95′
Yuni is a teenage girl — smart with big dreams of attending university. When two men she barely knows ask to marry her, she rejects their proposals, sparking gossip about a myth that a woman who rejects three proposals will never marry. The pressure is building when a third man asks for her hand, and Yuni must choose between the myth of a final chance at marriage, or her dream of future happiness.
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