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Marina Antunes [Celluloid 05.01.18] Indonesia western arthouse

The western has seen a bit of a resurgence over the last decade ranging from the traditional to the revisionist and everything in between, one of last year's highlights was Scott Cooper's excellent Hostiles, but the latest entry into the genre comes from a surprising place: Indonesia.

Mouly Surya's sophomore feature is Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, the story of a young widow living alone in the deserted hills of an Indonesian island when a gang of thieves comes upon her with the intention of raping her and taking her cattle.

In a bout of fury and self preservation, Marlina decapitates the leader and kills several of the others. Newly empowered, Marlina sets off on a journey of justice and redemption but her journey is made more difficult when the ghost of her headless victim begins to haunt her.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts certainly feels like a new take on the western, not only with the female story and themes but also with the ghost which feels like it's very much part of eastern culture. That alone makes for an interesting pairing but there's also the fact that Surya's movie looks beautiful and star Marsha Timothy looks fearless in the titular role of Marlina.

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts premiered at Cannes last year and will be making its North American theatrical premiere on June 22 in NYC with a national rollout to follow.

Recommended Release: Brimstone

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