BEFORE, NOW & THEN
NanaDirected by Kamila Andini
Cast: Arswendy Bening Swara, Happy Salma, Laura Basuki
Best Supporting Performance, 2022 Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection, 2022 Taipei Film Festival
For over a decade, Nana has lived with a kind, aging husband, who provides her with a lavish home and servants, as well as refuge from the violent Suharto regime which has already taken her father and son. But despite the comforts, Nana finds herself haunted by two figures: her first husband, missing but probably dead, coming back to her in ghostly visions; and an intriguing, beautiful young woman, sliding into her home through flirtatious letters left for Nana’s unfaithful husband. As these two figures close in on Nana, a vision of her own desires comes strikingly into focus.
BEFORE, NOW & THEN may be set against thundering political upheaval, but it’s a film told primarily in hushed conversations. The film’s first and final lines are whispers between women towards whom history has been unkind, but from which they refuse to be victims. Director Kamila Andini (Yuni, 2022 SDAFF Spring Showcase) luxuriates in the blues and greens of everyday surfaces, the fabrics that summon in silence, and the subtle hairstylings that become a tacit code between women beholding secrets. Evoking Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love, BEFORE, NOW & THEN is a stylish, passionate conjuring of love, friendship, and motherhood on Nana’s own terms.