LFF Review: Autobiography

Although we’re well into the twenty-first century now, corruption is just as rife as it has ever been. You could argue, in fact, that in many parts of the world it’s worse than ever. The stakes are much higher than ever before and the obsession with wealth just seems to get stronger. The fight between landowners and developers is still very real. The lure and power of money against the desires of the local population. Good and evil collide in Autobiography.

With his older brother working abroad and his father in jail for sabotaging construction workers, Kib (Kevin Ardillova) is left on his own in charge of caretaking an empty mansion for General Purna (Arswendy Bening Swara). Three generations of his family have loyally worked for the powerful and influential man. When he suddenly returns to contest a mayoral election, the two become close. Kib seeing his boss as a mentor, despite the warning signs.

Autobiography is a beautifully paced drama about power dynamics within an abusive relationship. The General is an important man and preys on Kib’s loneliness. Offering glimpses of a better life while slowly indoctrinating him into his corruption. Makbul Mubarak’s film is an astute character study and a treatise on manipulation. Autobiography is beautifully made and deftly paced. Slowly building up to a finale which could go either way.

Autobiography screens at London Film Festival.

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