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Postcards from the Zoo (Kebun Binatang)


Sat Apr 13 2013, 3:00pm

Where: SAM @ 8Q , 8 Queen Street, Bras Basah, Singapore

Restrictions: R18

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $9.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Bahasa Indonesia with English Subtitles.

Abandoned in the zoo by her father when she was little, Lana grew up surrounded by animals, boundaries and the sounds of a subdued wilderness. When a mysterious young cowboy-magician enters her world, she falls in love and leaves the zoo for the first time. However, fate lures her into a seedy underworld. Between her memory of the past and her desire to find her own path, she has to search for a possibly impossible place: home. Filmed on location in Jakarta's Rangunan Zoo, this is Edwin's second feature following his acclaimed debut Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly.

Independent filmmaker Edwin, born in 1978, first came to international attention for his short Kara, Daughter of a Tree (2005), which screened at the Cannes Director's Fortnight. His debut feature Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (2008) premiered at the Busan International Film Festival and won the Fipresci Prize in Rotterdam, the Silver Prize at the Festival des 3 Continents in Nantes and a Special Jury Mention at the Singapore International Film Festival. He studied filmmaking at the Jakarta Institute of Arts, Berlinale Talent Campus and the Asian Film Academy at the Busan Film Festival. Postcards From the Zoo was screened in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, and on other international platforms.

Director's statement:
The zoo is a nexus of energies. So many people of all ages, cultures, classes, backgrounds go to the zoo. It is interesting because it's humans and animals looking at each other. It is analogous to cinema, which is about watching and being watched. In Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, public places like the zoo tend to attract aimless people. You can see the same syndrome in malls. There's an overwhelming feeling of disorientation. If the feeling of loss were a place, it would be the zoo. So this film is also about longing for something lost. The feeling of loss is very dreamlike and surreal: a dazed numbness, a dull intangible pain. Life goes on and then suddenly you feel as if you're sleepwalking. You don't summon up the feeling of loss but it comes anyway—and without warning.

After her father has abandoned her, Lana's deepest longing is the need to be touched. But the zoo is full of barriers and fences to obstruct her. "Don't touch the animals!" When the magician touches her she falls in love, following her own needs. Falling in love is all about intuition and impulse—acting on your own immediate longings. What comes first is whatever you long for. A physical touch is Lana's link to her father, and consciously or unconsciously, she always longs to be touched. Helping others in this way is a kind of remedy. There are always some basic simple things which you don't understand or accept until you've seen the world and experienced them for yourself. Before Lana saw the wider world, she did not know that she could do what she longs for.

The way this story is told is dreamlike. The characters around Lana—humans and animals—are like apparitions in her dream. The word "postcards" in the title comes from the way I myself perceive cinema. I enjoy fragmentary films that are able to break free from their own structures, films that allow the viewer to exit the narrative, invoking or triggering memories of personal experience. To me, that's a bit like sending and receiving postcards.