Eliana has just been sacked from her dreary department store job for kicking a customer in the crotch. Needing the support and comfort of her flatmate, Heni, Eliana returns home only to find her missing. However there are two people waiting—a tough-looking guy demanding to see Heni, and Bunda, Eliana's estranged mother who has been gone these past five years. What ensues is a night of revelations and adventure as the two women criss-cross through the bustling Jakarta streets. For Eliana, the city is a place where dreams and ambitions are fulfilled, but for her mother it is a den of corruption and danger. By the night's end their viewpoints have radically altered.
With a bird's eye view of the frenetic Jakarta nightlife, and eliciting firecracker performances from the two leads, director Riri Riza has fashioned a low-budget digital adventure, set over 24 hours, that reflects an authentic experience of contemporary urban life. Building on last year's mesmerising MIFF favourite, Whispering Sands, Eliana, Eliana further establishes that the New Indonesian cinema has arrived.