Set amid the political violence of late-1960s Indonesia, Kamila Andini’s intoxicating film BEFORE, NOW & THEN follows Raden Nana Suhani, a Sundanese woman in the 1960s lost and father and son to the war in West Java. Now the beautiful wife of a wealthy plantation owner, always looked down on her. For Nana, her inner life remains with her deceased first husband, murdered in the civil war a decade prior. A survivor, Nana values her safety and material comforts, but carries out a haunted existence, dreaming of her lost love. Forced to confront her husband’s blatant infidelity, Nana makes an unusual connection with his younger mistress, Ino. The two women, sharing their secrets and desires, discover a newfound freedom and intimacy withheld from them both by the strictures of patriarchal society. Together, these two women seek hope for independence. Director and screenwriter Kamila Andini (Nusa Yang Hilang, Yuni,) joins us for a conversation on how the enveloping stranglehold of patriarchy informs every aspect of these women’s lives, drawing out sublime performances from actors Happy Salma (Nana) and Laura Basuki (Ino), capturing the subversive beauty of a land gripped by violence and upheaval.
About the filmmaker – Kamila Andini is a mother and filmmaker based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Concerns with social culture, gender equality and environmental issues led to her passion to make films with a distinctive narrative perspective.Her debut feature film The Mirror Never Lies (2011) recounts the life of sea nomad on the Pacific Ocean off Indonesia. Her second, The Seen and Unseen (2017) portrays a dualistic cinematic universe based on the Balinese philosophical concept of Sekala / Niskala. Both films have screened in over 50 film festivals around the world and received some 30 national and international awards, including the Grand Prix for Best Feature Film, Berlinale Generation Kplus in 2018. She has also directed a number of short films. After Following Diana (2015), Memoria (2016) and Sekar (2019), her short Back Home (2019) formed part of the omnibus production Angel Sign (2019). Recently, she has expanded her directing work into theatre; her debut, based on her second feature ‘The Seen and Unseen’, was staged at the Esplanade Singapore 2018 and Asia Topa Melbourne in 2019. Her most recent theatrical production is the stage and virtual performance monologue, Nusa Yang Hilang (2021). Her third feature, Yuni, (2021) won the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Before, Now & Then is her fourth feature film.
“Andini captures complex female emotions and relationships in nuanced and fascinating detail, as well as the secrets we all keep, whether in knotted buns or not. Subtly stirring, it’s a sensitively crafted, immersive cinematic experience that lingers on the senses well after the credits roll.” – Sarah Bradbury, The Upcoming
“Aesthetic flourishes… betray Wong Kar-Wai’s influence on Before, Now & Then and elevate it … to the intoxicating sensory experience it is.” – Michael Nordine, Variety
“Gorgeous, complex, and wonderfully melancholy…highly rewarding to watch” – Jean Henegan, Pop Culture Maniacs
“A precisely calibrated, emotionally nuanced exploration of one woman going through a mid-life crisis in rural Indonesia during the 1960s that both looks and sounds stunning.” – Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter