Netflix has already included some exciting exclusive titles in its 2022 schedule. As users catapult standard products like “Mother / Android” or “Die Einöde” into the top 10, one gem is completely lost: “Photocopier”.
On December 15, we reported Netflix’s innovations in January 2022 to provide insight into the streaming platform’s upcoming highlights, as we do every month. At the time, “Copshop” served as a hook for the article, which was sure to appeal to a large audience as an action hit with audience favorite Gerard Butler. And indeed: the entertaining genre thriller promptly conquered the top of the Netflix charts, where shortly after the start the sci-fi thriller “Mother / Android” and the horror film “The Wasteland” also landed. Because they attracted with big names and strong images, but in the end they disappointed. With “Photocopier” it’s the other way around.
The officially announced Indonesian thriller finished in our various Netflix innovations overview news in January, but we didn’t give the film its own article, for example on the trailer. And “Photocopier” still flies under the radar. A place in the top 10? Highly unlikely. That’s a shame, because sometimes such non-names are worth paying attention to. Either way, I’m really happy that I spontaneously gave the thriller a chance. The year is still young, but “Photocopier” is already one of my highlights.
That’s what “Photocopier” is about.
Sur (Shenina Cinnamon) oversees the website of a theater group whose members typically seek the limelight. But not Sur. Although she is a true computer ace, she is quite reserved in large groups. But then the ensemble wins a competition and the student recovers. After all, success should be celebrated at a boisterous party, and Sur definitely doesn’t want to miss it.
Sur promises his father not to drink alcohol. But as happens at parties, the young woman gets carried away by the euphoria of others and ends up having a drink or two, with consequences. The next morning, she discovers unflattering selfies online that even endanger her scholarship. But Sur can’t remember taking pictures of himself. He finally begins to investigate and soon discovers that someone is playing a treacherous game …
A punch in the pit of the stomach
“Photocopier” is an unpleasant film, but also an important one. It highlights grievances, touches on problems that exist everywhere in the world, universal issues that affect us all – from outdated models to religion and its impact on society to the power of social media.
Director Wregas Bhanuteja refrains from letting his story fade away in an exploitative way to simply shock his audience – and there are numerous scenes in the film that he could have accomplished with a number of extremes. What pulls the rug out from under your feet are not isolated moments of violence taken to the extreme, but the certainty that stories like Sur’s party night unfold in one way or another around the world.
The “photocopier” does not raise her finger, shakes the moral club, does not propose solutions to these problems so deeply rooted in society. She only serves as an opening for the eyes, perhaps even as a cry for help, but above all as a window into a world as terrifying as it is real. And from which we like to close everyday life.
Bad taste: the “photocopier” controversy.
“Photocopier” has been distributed around the world with numerous awards. At the Indonesian Film Festival in 2021, for example, it garnered twelve awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. But not only does it earn hymns of praise, it is also boycotted in many places. The reason: the screenwriter Henricus Pria.
The same man who presents us with this heartbreaking and horrific story of assault was himself accused of abuse. However, Studio Rekata distanced itself from the author, removed his name from the credits and confirmed in a note (through The Jakarta Post) that Pria “is no longer part of ‘Photocopier’ and Rekata Studio”. Efforts are always made to create a safe working environment for all involved.
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