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The Programs

Eliana, Eliana

  • Indonesia / 2002 / 83min
  • Original Title : Pesawat Pertama
  • Director : Riri Riza


The first we see of Eliana, who works in a Jakarta department store, is when she has just kicked a customer in the crotch. (He's complaining loudly.) Later, in a snack bar on her way home, she sees off another slob who was letching at her. But the coming evening's events reveal that she's not as strong or independent as she likes to think. The first shock is finding her mother waiting for her - with a ticket to return to Padang. If she wants it. (She was raised in West Sumatra by her mother when her father walked out, but she walked out herself when her mother tried to force her into an arranged marriage. Mother and daughter haven't seen each other for five years.) The second shock is that her flatmate Heni has gone missing, just when a tough-looking guy shows up demanding to see her. This is the prelude to a long night crisscrossing Jakarta in a taxi, a night of questions, embarrassments and surprises. Riza delivers a sharp, believable drama, excitingly shot in 'Scope, in which moral choices come up hard against wants and needs. On this evidence, the New Indonesian Cinema has arrived.

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