Yuni

Yuni

Indonesia/France/Singapore/Australia, 2021, 95’, Indonesian
Directed by: Kamila Andini
Screenplay: Kamila Andini, Prima Rusdi
Photography (color): Teoh Gay Hian
Editing: Lee Chatametikool, Cesa David Luckmansyah
Production Designer: Budi Riyanto
Music: Mar Galo, Ken Jenie, Alexis Rault.
Producers: Ifa Isfansyah, Fran Borgia, Philippe Gompel, Birgit Kemner, Chand Parwez Servia
Cast: Arawinda Kirana (Yuni), Asmara Abigail (Suci), Sekar Sari (Rika), Marissa Anita (Bu Lies), Dimas Aditya (Damar), Kevin Ardilova (Yoga)

Date of First Release in Territory: December 9th, 2021

 

Yuni (Arawinda Kirana) is a teenager from the heart of Indonesia. She loves the color purple and wants to empower herself through getting an education. But the society around her, and especially the men around her, just want to see her married and following the undisputed rules of patriarchy. Yuni rejects the marriage proposals of her suitors, violating the conventions of the community. The shy Yoga (Kevin Ardilova), younger than her, loves her with all his heart and writes poetry for her. But Yuni yearns to be free.
A winner at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival and Indonesia’s nominee for the Best International Film Oscar, Yuni is the third feature film by Kamila Andini, daughter of Indonesian film luminary Garin Nugroho. It is a rare example of a film directed by a woman in Southeast Asia. In this case, however, the female gaze of the author is significant with regards to the storyline and the way of staging it. In the most densely populated Muslim-majority country in the world, this portrait of a young woman and her seemingly small yet enormous battle for emancipation is a sensitive subject, but one that is also courageous. Because Yuni’s is a story that European audiences may have seen countless times in the past, even decades ago, in local contexts. But in Indonesia, the representation of adolescent and female sexuality, in a context far removed from the global metropolis Jakarta, is truly disruptive. And it is told by Kamila Andini with great tact and intimacy – the sequence of the amorous encounter between Yuni and Yoga is simply splendid. For the strength of a film like Yuni lies not only in its choice of theme, but also in its careful yet discreet composition, in the service of a deeply felt central performance (Arawinda Kirana was rightly awarded Indonesia’s top prizes for Best Actress 2021) and a gentle pace that keeps things light, but brings the characters closer together (the skirmishes between Yuni and her young beau Yoga are always delightful). And the film’s ending can hardly fail to move.
For her most stylistically accomplished film, the young director relied on the very best Indonesia has to offer in terms of technical and artistic contributions: on the one hand, director of photography Teoh Gay Hian, who worked on her father Garin Nugroho’s best films, and on the other, editor Lee Chatametikool, a regular collaborator of Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Not forgetting the essential contribution in writing the screenplay made by Prima Rusdi, a veteran of female storytelling in Indonesian cinema. But Kamila Andini must undoubtedly take credit for having organically orchestrated these contributions, as well as the performances of her cast, making Yuni a touching, delicate symphony in a minor key, capable of bringing the story of a young Indonesian woman close to the hearts of viewers all over the world.


Kamila Andini

Kamila Andini (1986) is the daughter of the great Indonesian director Garin Nugroho. Her four feature films have cemented her reputation as one of the most distinct and talented voices in Indonesian cinema today, cutting the apron strings from her father. Her first film, The Mirror Never Lies was entered into the New Currents section at the Busan Festival in 2011. The follow-up The Seen and Unseen picked up the Kplus award at the Berlinale Generation 2017. Last year, Yuni triumphed in the Platform section at the Toronto Film Festival. With her last film, Before, Now & Then (2022) she became the first female director from Southeast Asia to earn a place in Competition at the Berlin Film Festival.

FILMOGRAPHY

2011 – The Mirror Never Lies 
2017 – The Seen and Unseen 
2021 – Yuni 
2022 – Before, Now & Then

Paolo Bertolin
Film director: Kamila ANDINI
Year: 2021
Running time: 95'
Country: Indonesia
27/04 - 7:20 PM
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27-04-2022 19:20 27-04-2022 20:55Europe/Rome Yuni Far East Film Festival Visionario, Via Asquini 33CEC Udine cec@cecudine.org
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Photogallery