Rain is still in school when he starts hanging around with Kris, an older student who buys him watches and then starts asking him to sleep over. Kris dates women, but as Rain pretends to be asleep he stares and lightly caresses him. Both men dance carefully around each other because of cultural taboos.
The film jumps through three time periods – the men meeting, the men apart and then the men reuniting under stressful circumstances. Director and writer Andri Cung is a passionate and skillful director and he gets raw and beautiful performances from his sexy cast.
William Tjokro is open and assured as Kris and Natalius Chendana is the conflicted Kris. Along with sexy distraction Cornelio Sunny, as the troubled Will, and Gesata Stella as Susan, the childhood friend who re-enters Rain’s life in an unexpected way, they all give grounded and heartfelt performances.
While one can appreciate how epic it must have been to produce a film like this in Indonesia, for North American audiences though, the story is not ground-breaking, and with a running time of 101 minutes the drama starts to drag.
Much like the overly dramatic 1982 film Making Love, which many saw as an important step in the fight for queer rights in North America, The Sun, The Moon and The Hurricane has the potential to play a similar role in the changing attitudes towards homosexuality in South Asia.
The Sun, The Moon and The Hurricane may not be a brilliant first feature for Cung, but it may be an important one.
The Sun, The Moon and The Hurricane. Written and directed by Andri Cung. Wed. Oct 1, 12:15 pm, Cinematheque. Visit http://viff.org for tickets and information.