Ismail Basbeth, Indonesia, 2015, 80 minutes
Indonesian myths are updated via the magic of widescreen digital in director/co-writer Ismail Basbeth's quietly beguiling debut Another Trip to the Moon. Accessibly exotic in its initial evocations of a timeless idyll, the picture throws a couple of bold narrative curve-balls as it builds towards a satisfying, enigmatic finale.
The screenplay almost entirely dispenses with dialogue, apart from a handful of whispery and unsubtitled incantations. But it's not hard to work out what's going on. Early stretches depict a pair of graceful lovers — identified in the credits as Asa (Tara Basro) and Laras (Ratu Anandita) — enjoying an idealized, atavistic hunter-gathering lifestyle in a placid forest, with Asa particularly handy with a bow-and-arrow.
Moving between reality, fantasy, dream, hallucination and symbolic representation, Basbeth crafts a strangely alluring form of sensual fairy-tale in which quotidian objects and places take on magical qualities. It's essentially a character-study of the impassively self-possessed Asa, with Basro seldom off-screen as a young woman capable of moving between epochs with a natural, animal poise.
- Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter