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Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts

In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina (Marsha Timothy), a young widow, is attacked and robbed of all her livestock by a gang of seven bandits. She then defends herself, setting out on a journey to find justice, empowerment, retribution and redemption. But the road is long, especially when she begins to be haunted by the ghost of her victim. A stunning Scope western set to a Morricone-inspired score, this unique tale of female cinematic revenge takes no prisoners.

"AN UNWAVERING SLOW BURN... Ms. Surya gives Marlina a stark, steady, captivating look that keeps you engaged." —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

"Austere yet stylish… A starkly told tale of a determined and strong female character who is mad as hell and is not going to take it anymore… THE BOTTOM LINE: KICKS ASS." —Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter

"AT ONCE TIGHTLY CONTROLLED AND SIMMERING WITH RIGHTEOUS FURY, [Marlina] is a gorgeously lensed, atmospherically scored and moves inexorably toward a gratifying payoff… A revenge fantasy rooted in Indonesia’s gender conditions, complex regional culture and the stark beauty of its landscapes… At the age of 36, Indonesian director-writer Mouly Surya has made the first Satay Western." —Maggie Lee, Variety

"THE FEMINIST WESTERN YOU NEED TO SEE… Satisfyingly deadpan, viciously vengeful and full of surprises… one of the most ravishingly beautiful films at Cannes." —Tara Brady, The Irish Times

"The dark, wry, feminist neo-Western Tarantino only wishes he created... INTOXICATING VIEWING." —Andrew Wright, The Stranger

"INSTANT CLASSIC... one of the best foreign-language films of the year." —Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward

"[Marlina] has a pleasing, elemental simplicity, LIKE A MODERN FOLKTALE TOLD WITH JARMUSCH-LIKE MINIMALISM enlivened by the occasional Tarantino-esque dollop of violence." —Godfrey Cheshire,

"VISUALLY STRIKING AND THEN SOME... As for [actress] Marsha Timothy, the film could hardly go further in making her an iconic figure." —Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

"Utterly bonkers in the best possible way, this stylish hybrid Indonesian spaghetti western is anchored around a POWERHOUSE PERFORMANCE from Marsha Timothy as the young eponymous widow." —Kevin Maher, The London Times

"With a Morricone-inspired score, gorgeous cinematography that screams to be witnessed on a big screen, and bleak humor, this film’s tightly executed, meticulously controlled surface BARELY CONTAINS THE SEETHING FURY WITHIN." —Brent McKnight, The Seattle Times

"A POSTMODERN BLEND of art-house and genre sensibilities." —Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

"A handsome, STRIKING piece of work." —Rory Ford, Eye for Film

"Marlina, A MEDITATIVE NEO-WESTERN, surveys Indonesian hills and men’s dehumanization of women without indulging in splattery fantasy." —Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

"Speaks softly but carries a big blade." —Peter Howell, The Star


Main credits

Surya, Mouly (film director)
Surya, Mouly (screenwriter)
Adi, Rama (film producer)
Adi, Rama (screenwriter)
Zidni, Fauzan (film producer)
Fedly, Egi (actor)
Timothy, Marsha (actor)
Panendra, Dea (actor)
Pratama, Yoga (actor)
Salishz, Haydar (actor)

Other credits

Cinematographer, Yunus Pasolang; editor, Kelvin Nugroho; music, Zeke Khaseli and Yudhi Arfani.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Death and Dying
KimStim Collection
Southeast Asia


; "Marlina"; Icarus Films; "Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts"; Icarus Films; Indonesia; Indonesian; narrative; drama; revenge; Satay Western; ; mystery