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FILM REVIEW: Sandal

3 January 2019

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FILM REVIEW: Sandal

A poor girl is unable to play games such as jump rope with her friends as she only owns a pair of flip flops while her other friends have trendy new sandals. She struggles to save up for a new pair of sandals by doing odd jobs, but has to make a decision in the end.

Director: Jeiji Joned
Year: 2016
Cast: Syifa Aura Azahra
Language: Bahasa Indonesia
Runtime: 4min
Rating: PG


Review by Jean Wong

Sandal (2016) may be an overtold story of a girl fighting against all odds to save up for her own desires, but it never gets old. The distinction between the protagonist and her friends, who all own the newly trending sandals except her, is made clear right from the get go. While the other children are decked out in colourful clothing including the current sandals in fashion, the girl (who remains unnamed) is not.

In just merely 4 minutes, Joned was able to reach out to the audience and stir up emotions that such a film touches on. Sandal won Best Film, Best Director, Best Scenario and Best Editor at the Youth Sineas Awards 2016, a competition held in Indonesia for student filmmakers under the age of 20. For a young filmmaker to achieve all these with a simple short film that lasts a few minutes and has minimal dialogue, it is certainly commendable.

Even in a film where the protagonist has no lines, Syifa Aura Azahra manages to convey the longing of a child’s simple wish for new sandals. Coupling this fact with the crescendoing music, it really brings out the awe we feel for the protagonist in her sense of determination and her relentlessness. Ultimately, the girl learns that happiness comes in more than just the form of a new pair of sandals, and that sweet ending ties up Sandal in a way that leaves you satisfied.

Watch Sandal (2016) here.

Contemplative empath who sees wonder in the curious world. Has a habit of hiding behind books and occasionally dabbles in games, Netflix and YouTube. Is permanently attached to bubble tea.
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