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In The Absence Of The Sun


Sun Dec 14 2014, 7:15pm

Where: Marina Bay Sands - Sands Theatre, 10 Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay, Singapore

Restrictions: R18

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $25.00
  • Additional fees may apply

Unfolding over one night is a tender portrait of three women navigating their way through a megacity.

In a megacity like Jakarta, things change swiftly and constantly. In this film that unfolds over the course of one night, three women search for belonging in a metropolis that never sleeps. The tales unspool as the sun sets behind a cloud of smog. Amidst the city’s notorious traffic jams and the customary calls to prayer, Kuswandi introduces Gia (Adinia Wirasti), who returns from years of living abroad in New York and attempts to adjust to the culture shock. She seeks solace in her former love, Naomi (Marissa Anita), who seems to have conformed to
upper-class societal norms of materialism and superficiality.

Together, they try to resolve their feelings for one another and the people they have become. Indri (Ina Panggabean) works as a towel girl in a local gym while dreaming of a prince charming to sweep her off her feet and into a better life. Unsatisfied, she tries her hand at online dating, with near-disastrous results. Widow Mrs Surya (Dayu Wijanto) discovers her deceased husband’s affair with a prostitute named Sofia and starts frequenting the lounge she performs at. In Mrs Surya’s silence, the audience is prompted to question the sentiments she has hidden from all, includingher philandering husband.

Although the three nighttime flaneurs never meet, their paths converge in an aptly named love hotel called Lone Star. In this brief intersection of lives, Kuswandi highlights the unspoken tensions between tradition and modernity, which coexist uneasily in the vast city.

Humorous and poignant, Kuswandi’s second feature film is a demonstration of nuanced, tender capabilities. Ultimately, the film is as much about its charismatic characters as it is an unflinching look at Jakarta itself. Weaving a love letter, Kuswandi leaves the viewer with bittersweet melancholy that can only come with heartfelt honesty.