Archives / 2013 Sundance Film Festival

What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love

Film Still

Director: Mouly Surya

Screenwriters: Mouly Surya

Institute History

  • 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Description

At a high school for the visually impaired in Jakarta, Indonesia, the students are like any other teenagers: they attend classes, pursue artistic endeavors, and fall in love. The most privileged of the bunch, Diana, patiently awaits signs of womanhood and humors her mother’s attempts to mold her into the perfect girl. The beautiful Fitri has no shortage of male attention and enters into a passionate affair with, unbeknownst to her, a hearing-impaired punk rocker who is masquerading as a doctor. Meanwhile, Maya, blind since birth, aspires to be an actress and performer. Regardless of physical barriers, the students find ways to communicate and collaborate, enabling them to connect—with each other and to the outside world.

Writer/director Mouly Surya elegantly employs the language of cinema to evoke the sensory experience of her protagonists through deliberate silences, languid tracking shots down corridors, and highly choreographed movement. With gentle humor, playfulness, and heightened realism, What They Don’t Talk About… draws out the poetry in its characters, highlighting the magic in their lives and respecting who they are.

— K. Y.

Screening Details

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