Mouly Surya Empowers Women In Her Movie

If you ever think that Indonesian movies couldn’t be an equal competitor to Hollywood movies, maybe you haven’t watched Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina Si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak).

With a gorgeous cinematography that portrays the beauty of Sumba and a perfect atmospherically scoring, this movie address strong feminism values in a country that follows patriarchy culture like Indonesia.

The director, Mouly Surya, poured her viewpoint over how women should put themselves in all of her three movies, include in Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts.


the director of Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts, Mouly Surya

“One thing for certain is that all of women characters in my movies are never built as passive heroines that waits for the help from men. I also avoid making women as the victim at the end of the movies,” stated this thirty-eight-year-old director and writer.

This movie has been recognized for its strong values not only for Indonesians but also globally. Before released in Indonesia, this movie had been played in some international film festival, in Cannes, New Zealand, Toronto, Busan, Melbourne, and Marocco.

In addition, this movie also received best screenwriting awards at Festival International du Film deFemmesde Sale (FIFFS) in Marocco and Asian NestWave from The QCinema Festival in the Philippines.

As the main character, Marlina, a widow who is played by Marsha Timothy, unsurprisingly won the best actress awards from Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival and beat some world stars celebrities like Nicole Kidman, Masami Nagasawa, and Monika Balsai.


Marsha Timothy with her trophy (from Instagram @moulysurya)

“Marlina describes a survival attempts from a woman who lives between extreme obstacles. How women try to fight those difficulties instead of trying to live with them,” added Mouly as quoted from Beritagar.

Despite the violence and adultery scenes embedded in this movie, we really love that it’s very relevant to the current time. It portrays how women are often assumed belongs to lower level compared to men. On the contrary, it also accentuates how resilient a woman could be even when she had no one to count on.

And because it’s very near to Kartini’s Day which is celebrated on April 21st, we hope that Mouly and her belief that women could be their own heroes just like men could will stay in our hearts. And it could also be a reminder to us that we will always, always be able to save ourselves as long as we want to destroy the stereotypes we were told to be.

Beritagar / BBC Indonesia / Variety / CNN Indonesia
SBH // ve


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