Director: Joko Anwar
Screenwriters: Joko Anwar

Institute History

  • 2020 Sundance Film Festival


How do you escape a family legacy when it’s ingrained inside you—literally? This is what Maya wants to find out after a close encounter with death leaves her with questions about the parents she never knew and what they potentially left behind. Accompanied by her best friend, Dini, she ventures to the remote village where she lived as a young child. Immediately, they observe strange phenomena; most noticeably, there aren’t any children around. As they peel back the layers of the village’s secretive facade, they find themselves at the center of a story that transcends life and death.

In his latest feature, Indonesian filmmaker Joko Anwar spins a tale of family inheritance, generational trauma, and betrayal set against the desolate landscape of Indonesia’s countryside. Forgoing traditional jump scares and haunts in favor of a more suspenseful, sinister narrative, Anwar delivers a ghost story that turns the esoteric upside down and inside out. His frequent star and collaborator Tara Basro imbues Maya with strength and empathy in her search for answers buried just beneath the skin.

— A.D.

Screening Details

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