The Mirror Never Lies

Indonesia submitted this entry to the 2012 Seattle International Film Festival (English captions). In my opinion, this should have been submitted by the National Geographic magazine, because this World Premier film takes place in the Indonesian Wakatobi archipelago and features a Bajo tribal community, so we see:
  • Local customs
  • Local religious rites
  • Local commerce
  • Local topography
  • Local food
  • Local family units
  • Local education
  • Great underwater photography
  • Long, long intervals where nothing happens.
This is a coming-of-age story about a young girl whose father has disappeared at sea. She is convinced that a local superstition and ceremony that involves a mirror will reveal him to her. Her fascination with the family mirror causes strife between her and her mother, whose face is painted white, per local custom.

Enter a handsome young man who has come to study the local dolphin population. We can see our young heroine develop a crush on him (she spies on him while he is showering), but we know long before she does, that her fixation is in vain.

This village is suspended over the tidelands, so all of the houses and pathways between them are elevated. The children play with boats like landlocked children play with bicycles. We watch with fascination, because there is nothing else to capture our attention. ...Yawn...