The past week I have been sneaking out from the office early to catch a few films during the Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFFEST), with its 8th incarnation running from 8 to 17 December 2006. Since there have been sooo many films that I have watched (and 4 films to go this weekend), I don’t feel like doing the usual long review that I do with movies. But here are some highlights of the films that made an impression:
A story about an Syrian family which had emigrated to Canada a generation ago, and the father had passed away, leaving the family business to the son. The lead character, Sabah, in her conservative Muslim dress, is almost 40, single, and stays at home to take care of her mother. Her ‘subversive’ actions begin with swimming, where she has to take her conservative dress off… and from there the story goes to touching on the various problems that a Muslim family has when living in a Western environment. That is where the movie is a breakthrough, because it gives a lot of insight to mostly Western viewers on what life is like for Muslim families.
About a widow, defying her family’s (or more precisely, brother-in-law’s) wishes, running her late husband’s roadside cafe. A mix of great food and feminine touch make the cafe a boom, giving big competition for her brother-in-law’s own cafe. Reyhan, the story’s hero, wins friends and hearts during the constant problems and opposition given by Nasser, the brother-in-law. The movie also gives insight to how life is in the Middle East.
More reviews to follow…