Indonesia’s Makbul Mubarak is making quite a splash with his debut feature “Autobiography,” which is world premiering at Venice’s Horizons strand and then playing at Toronto’s Contemporary World Cinema section.
The film, which examines the effects of Indonesia’s military dictatorship on the country’s youth, follows a young man torn between loyalty and justice who confronts the truth of his father figure — a retired general — that may destroy them both.
Mubarak, film critic-turned-filmmaker and a Berlinale Talents and Asian Film Academy alumni, previously directed acclaimed short films “The Dog’s Lullaby” (2016), “Malediction” (2017) and “A Plastic Cup of Tea Before Her” (2018).
The cast includes Kevin Ardilova, Arswendy Bening Swara, Yusuf Mahardika, Lukman Sardi and Haru Sandra.
” ‘Autobiography’ is a story very specific to Indonesia because it addresses the legacy of our history, but at the same time, it also addresses the world we are co-existing in now: the heavy price of ignorance, the rise of populism, and what does it mean to be our true self in a world where the concept of self is continuously shaped by our relationship with other people,” Mubarak told Variety.
“Autobiography” is produced by leading Indonesian producer Yulia Evina Bhara’s KawanKawan Media, whose credits include a brace of Locarno winners – Yosep Anggi Noen’s “The Science of Fictions” and Carlo Francisco Manatad’s “Whether the Weather Is Fine.”
The film is a seven country co-production between Indonesia, France, Singapore, Poland, Philippines, Germany and Qatar, with Louise Bellicaud, Claire Charles-Gervais, Jeremy Chua, Malgorzata Staroń, Armi Rae Cacanindin, Nicole Gerhards, Amerta Kusuma, Robin Moran, Pinkan Veronique, Arya Sweta and Ganesya also serving as producers.
“I started this journey with the humblest intention of telling a story that is specific to Makbul’s personal experience with his family. The dream was to share it to Indonesian audiences. Along the way, we found out that his story also relates closely to many people around the world. That’s why, we took the challenge of inviting more overseas collaborators into the family of ‘Autobiography,’ ” Bhara told Variety.
Alpha Violet is handling international sales.
Watch the trailer here: