Memories of My Body [Feature]

Indonesia (MIFF 2019 )
Director: Garin Nugroho

Winner of UNESCO’s Cultural Diversity Award at the 2018 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Indonesian auteur Garin Nugroho’s Memories of My Body dances through gender stereotypes, societal oppression and his homeland’s recent political history. 

Java, 1980. Abandoned as a boy, Juno finds a new life with a traditional Lengger dance company, warming to its graceful movements while embracing its complicated approach to masculinity. In the group’s performances, male dancers take on female roles, opening Juno’s eyes to the fluidity of gender, sexuality and sensuality – and the struggle that can stem from being different, including within himself.

Nugroho (The Blindfold, MIFF 2012) was inspired by the life of dancer Rianto, who narrates the film as himself, ensuring that Memories of My Body is both a sensitive rite-of-passage drama and a tribute to the cathartic power of artistic expression.

“At once evoking the gritty realities of agrarian Indonesia while also celebrating the richness of its folk culture, Memories of My Body offers a complex picture of the conflicting social and historical traumas concealed within the bodies and minds of marginalised, oppressed social groups in a nominally secular country.” – The Hollywood Reporter

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