News & events > Berlinale 2012 Diary: 2 Southeast Asian films part of Main Competition
10 Feb 2012

Berlinale 2012 Diary: 2 Southeast Asian films part of Main Competition

Out of the 17 entries competing for the 62nd Berlinale's coveted Golden Bear Award, two films hail from Southeast Asia -the Philippines' Captive by Brillante Medoza and Indonesia's Kebun binatang (Postcards From The Zoo) by Edwin.


Synopsis: A group of armed and masked men belonging to the Muslim Abu Sayyaf group burst into a hotel on an island resort and kidnap twelve foreign guests. The attack was intended to target employees of the World Bank, but they have already left the resort. The abductees are tourists and Christian missionaries who are now forced on a gruelling foot march through the Philippine jungle. Together, the hostages and the kidnappers find themselves having to cope with the trials of nature; gradually, the climate of fear, prejudice and hatred evolves into a strange, symbiotic relationship. The contours begin to blur, certainties are called into question. Nothing seems to be the same any more …

As in his earlier work, Brillante Mendoza once again invites the viewer of Captive to enter the extremely ambivalent inner world of a huis clos. Taking the viewer hostage as it were, the film creates a sensibility for a series of existential threats posed by humans and nature alike and also explores with eerie magic real and spiritual ways out of the crisis. Based on historical events that occurred in 2001, the film was shot in real locations with a cast of nonprofessionals and actors.

Stars Isabelle Huppert, Katherine Mulville, Marc Zanetta, Maria Isabel Lopez and Rustica Carpio. 120 minutes.


Kebun binatang (Postcards From The Zoo)

Synopsis: The zoo – a place of yearning. The zoo animals are yearning for freedom and many of the visitors long for adventure and the call of the wild. It is in these surroundings, where imagining yourself into other world is easy, that Lana grows up. When she was a little girl, her father left her behind in the colourful Jakarta zoo to be raised by zoo keepers. What dreams and longings does a young woman have who has grown up among giraffes, elephants and hippos? Is the cowboy who appears one day and is able to do magic merely a wish summoned into solid form, or is he real? Lana will assist him, and take her first steps outside her familiar world. But as suddenly as he appeared, the cowboy will disappear again by magic. On her own now, Lana begins to work as a masseuse at a spa. But the memory of the cowboy and nostalgia for the seemingly enchanted zoo will not leave her alone.

As with Edwin’s internationally acclaimed directorial debut, The Blind Pig Who Wants To Fly, the tone of new work Postcards From The Zoo has the feel of being similarly suspended in a strange limbo. A film which surrenders itself to the sense of longing it conveys.

Stars Ladya Cheryl and Nicholas Saputra. 95 minutes.

(from the site)