Makbul MUBARAK Indonesia, France, Germany, Poland, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar 115 mins PG13 (Some Coarse Language) Singapore Premiere
The relationship between an authoritarian father figure and a diffident young man forms a gripping study of power relations.
Quiet and mild-mannered Rakib is the housekeeper of a mansion belonging to former general Purna, who has returned to contest the local election. The two develop a father–son bond: Purna takes young Rakib under his wing, while Rakib gains confidence with his guidance. A dyed-in-the-wool autocrat, Purna does not tolerate even the slightest threat to his power. A defaced campaign banner sets off a violent reaction, and Rakib is soon forced to confront his own morality and complicity in an unjust system.
Though set in post-dictatorship Indonesia, Autobiography evokes terror reminiscent of the Suharto era. In a time where we see the rise of strongman rule, Autobiography is a sobering reminder of what could be if power is left unchecked and the people remain passive.
Makbul MUBARAK is an Indonesian film critic-turned-filmmaker. His short films include Sugih (Dog’s Lullaby) (2015), The Malediction (2017), which earned the Special Mention at the 28th SGIFF, and A Plastic Cup of Tea Before Her (2018). Autobiography, his feature debut, won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film from Orizzonti and the International Film Critics’ Week at Venice Film Festival.