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Jakarta Post

Some magic remains buried 'Under the Tree'

Jakarta   /   Sun, January 11 2009   /  10:03 am

Nian (Nadia Saphira) gets a tattoo from an elderly artist (Ikranegara), who she is further drawn toward, in Garin Nugroho’s latest feature, Under the Tree. (Courtesy of Credo Pic. & SET workshop) Indonesian film auteur Garin Nugroho follows on up his international phenomenon Opera Jawa with Under the Tree, a clear-cut narrative of three different stories about three women whose life-changing crises may or may not be related to magical elements of Balinese culture. Set against postcard-like panoramic views of Bali, which are shown in only brief and fleeting scenes, the film focuses more on character development of the three women to varying and often unbalanced results. The latter is enhanced with shaky handheld camera movements, something of Garin's intrusion to digital filmmaking that has been hit-and-miss throughout his portfolio, which sometimes gives an uncomfort...