» » The Photograph (2007)

Short summary

Sita is an escort at a karaoke bar who struggles to raise money to send her daughter out of the city to live with her grandmother and settle her debts with her pimp. She moves in with aging photographer Jan and helps him fulfill his last wishes.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Shem
    There are many films from different countries which have the name "The Photograph" as their title.This Indonesian film is different in the sense that it has been made by a former film critic.It is a film about two lonely,oppressed people.The feminine perspective of this film concerns an attractive prostitute named Sita who has no qualms about her profession.She is doing it to support her daughter and grand mother.There is also an old Chinese photographer whose life took a shocking turn after the death of his wife on railways tracks.It can be surmised that it may have been a case of suicide.The Photograph is a film about these two lonely people who are close to one another even though they appear to be different on numerous occasions. The film has the mark of a film critic as the director has put jokes in the later half to win audiences.The oppression of women is shown in the form of troubles faced by Sita who is harassed by her pimp.Indonesian director Nan Triveni Achnas shows us that the sorrows and happiness of lonely people are very much the same.This is a film about life and human sentiments as Sita's passion is life whereas Mr.Cameraman's passion is photos as he is interested in human sentiments.A good film for those viewers who would like to explore Indonesian cinema.
  • comment
    • Author: Cordanius
    Touching, if a bit melodramatic, this Indonesian film about the growing friendship between a prostitute hiding from her violent pimp and a dying portrait photographer weighed down by a lifelong secret is lovely to look at, gentle, with a good heart. It's a film I wish I loved even more.

    The intentions are wonderful, but the tendency to go over the top with the acting (especially the old man), and the fact you could see where the story was heading for quite a while kept a lid on my enthusiasm. So did the emotional distance of the style and very slow pace (and I love slow movies).

    All that said, it was good enough that I will see it again, and discover if it pulls me in deeper next time, knowing ahead of time the very low-key approach to the story, and the slightly heightened performances (an odd, interesting contradiction there).
  • comment
    • Author: RUsich155
    I first saw this film at Cinequest (San Jose Film Festival) in 2008. Each year I see about 15 films at that festival, and this was by far my favorite; it was also one of my favorite films of the entire year. The pace is languid, as appropriate for the story and setting. True to the title, I perceived many of the scenes as a delicate and cherished still shot brought to life for a short while. The story is simple: singer and reluctant prostitute at a town bar seeks escape from her situtation and rents a loft from an aging and frail portrait photographer; reluctantly he accepts her help in lieu of rent. The acting, cinematography and even the story made this a great film. I am not a great critic of acting skills, but I felt the two main actors did a superb job. Watch this film if you can find it and I assure that you will be invested in the lives of these two remarkable people.
  • comment
    • Author: Walan
    Nan Treveni Achna's The Photograph (2008) is a very profound and very contemplative study of the human condition.

    The thematic structure of this excellent film is rooted in an integrated symbology at its core. A symbology consisting of railroad tracks, trains, photos, the act of photography, the profession of photography, Buddhist altars, prostitution, old age and impending death, youth, maternal love, unfulfilled wishes, the desire to leave a legacy, psychological fixation, fear, "ancestor worship", optimism, resignation, and much more. This fine filmmaker skillfully uses this system of symbols to spin a compelling tale of life, through a dramatic coupling of two very unlikely partners. The resulting dramatic production is a veritable portrait, a photograph itself, if you will, of the dilemmas and paradoxes inherent in human existence.

    The Photograph (2008) is a very important instance of Cinematic Art, at least in my opinion.

    20 Stars !!!
  • Cast overview:
    Kay Tong Lim Kay Tong Lim - Johan Tan
    Shanty Shanty - Sita
    Lukman Sardi Lukman Sardi
    Indi Barends Indi Barends
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