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Asian films at Berlin Film Festival turn lens on burden of ...

Lifestyle

Asian films at Berlin Film Festival turn lens on burden of violence

Kamila Andini’s feature focuses on a woman in war-torn Java, while Rithy Panh’s looks at a world ruled by animals

Thomas Escritt

Two southeast Asian films competing at this year’s Berlin Film Festival explore what violence does to human beings, one through painful historical narrative, the other through fantasy.

Indonesian director Kamila Andini’s Nana shows the impact of years of war on the life of a woman in the Javan city of Bandung. After losing her first husband and family to war in the 1940s, she remarries and lives to face the chaos of the mass killings of the 1960s.

The film keeps a tight focus on the impact of violent times on the lives of Nana, played by Happy Salma, and the women and children around her, showing her controlling outward emotion with a discipline as tight as the long, winding garments she must wrap herself in for formal occasions...

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