“Before Now & Then,” a period drama film about Indonesian women battling the traumas of war and patriarchal society, has been picked up for North American distribution by Film Movement. The film is directed by Kamila Andini.
The film had its premiere earlier this year at the Berlin festival, where it was rewarded with a Silver Bear for Laura Basuki’s supporting performance. It also recently captured the jury prize at the Brussels International Film Festival.
Film Movement plans a theatrical release in the first quarter of 2023, followed by a wide release on home entertainment and digital platforms.
Rights sales are handled by Wild Bunch International and CAA Media Finance.
The film is set in the late 1960s, where Nana (played by Happy Salma) cannot escape her past. Poverty-stricken, having lost her family to the war in West Java, she marries again and begins a new life. Her new husband is wealthy, but her place in the home is menial, and he is unfaithful. Nana suffers in silence until the day she meets one of her husband’s mistresses and everything changes. Ino (played by Basuki) is someone she can trust, someone who offers her comfort and to whom she can confide her secrets, past and present. Together, the two women find the hope of new freedom.
“Set against the backdrop of growing anti-Communist sentiments of 1960s Indonesia, ‘Before, Now & Then’ focuses on the particular hardships that women are forced to endure in the face of political unrest. Andini and her collaborators, specifically Happy Salma’s mesmerizing lead performance, have crafted a rich portrait of dignity in the face of loss and violence,” said Michael Rosenberg, president of Film Movement. “[Andini is] one of the most promising Indonesian directors to emerge in recent years.”
The film is Andini’s fourth feature. She has previously directed: “The Mirror Never Lies” in 2011; “The Seen and Unseen” in 2017; and “Yuni” in 2021.
“ ‘Before, Now & Then’ is a recollective memory of my Sundanese mother, grandmother, great-grandmother. It is a journey through my own roots and history,” said Andini.
New York-based Film Movement is a North American distributor which has released some 250 U.S. independent and foreign-language films in its twenty-year history. Its recent Asian titles include Kawase Naomi’s “True Mothers,” acclaimed Korean debut film “Aloners” and Korean horror “Seire.”