Sweet Dreams

by Ena Sendijarević 

Synopsis

On a remote Indonesian island, during the waning days of the colonial era, Dutch sugar plantation owner Jan and his wife Agathe, are at the top of the food chain. That is, until Jan upon returning from his nightly visit to his native concubine Siti, suddenly drops dead in front of his wife. Desperate to keep the privileges of her status quo, Agathe forces her estranged son Cornelis and his heavily pregnant wife Josefien, to travel from Europe and take over the family business. In the midst of a worker’s uprising, Cornelis displays his plans for progressive change. But when Jan’s will puts Siti at the forefront of the family estate, ideals prove to be idle and blood thicker than water. 

Unforgiving satire meets lavish aesthetics in a game of cat and mouse in Ena Sendijarević’s audacious tale of the tragic and delicious demise of European Colonialism.

Variety’s Top Ten Best movies of 2024 So Far

2024 Director to Watch for:
– Variety
– Indiewire

“Magnificently composed, eerily satirical” 

“In only her second feature, after the Rotterdam-awarded
“Take Me Somewhere Nice,”  
the Bosnian-Dutch filmmaker has
established herself as a formidable talent” 

Variety 

“Bold, imaginative and sensitive tackling of
themes still emphatically in vogue”
“Soutendijk, delivers a fleeting masterclass
in wordless reaction”

Screen

“A postmodern mix of satire, surrealism
and cinematic lyricism.”
“Displays a fine sense of craft and
a deep understanding of the skewed
European attitudes of the period,”

The Hollywood Reporter

“Zweerman has a blast as
the sexually-frustrated Josefien”

Indiewire

“Delightful and snappy”
“Sendijarević bridges past and present
by fleshing out cruel, silenced histories
through satire and formalism.”

Cineuropa

“Ena Sendijarevic’s playful, surreal,
stylish second feature finds a rich seam  
of darkly absurd comedy in Europe’s
murky colonial history.”

The Film Verdict

“Gorgeously shot, masterfully composed”
“Its stylised storytelling
never ceasing to captivate.”

Little White Lies

“One of the highlights of this year’s festival circuit”
“Ena Sendijarević’s writing is full of
deadpan humour and unapologetically
funny menace towards her characters”

Asian Movie Pulse

Info

2023 – Netherlands, Sweden,
Indonesia, France (Réunion)
102 mins

Directed by: Ena Sendijarević 
Written by: Ena Sendijarević 
Produced by: Lemming Film (NL)
Co-produced by: Plattform Produktion (SE),
VPRO (NL), Film ï Vast (SE), Tala Media (ID)

Cast
Renée Soutendijk
Hayati Azis
Lisa Zweerman
Florian Myjer
Muhammad Khan
Hans Dagelet
Rio den Haas
Peter Faber
Verdi Solaiman

Producers: Erik Glijnis, Leontine Petit

Co-producers: Erik Hemmendorff,
Kristina Börjeson, Martien Vlietman, Mandy Marahimin

Service Producer: Tiktak Production (FR)

Executive Producers: Judy Tossel, Laurent Médéa, Ena Sendijarević 

Festivals

The Netherlands’ Official Oscar® Entry 2024

Locarno IFF – Main Competition | World Premiere
– Pardo for Best Performance
– 2nd Prize of the Junior Jury
Toronto FF – Centrepiece
Sarajevo FF
Chicago IFF
– Silver Hugo | New Directors Competition Award
Ghent FF
Nederlands FF – Opening Film
– Best Film
– Best Director
– Best Leading Role
– Best Supporting Role
– Best Costume
– Best Cinematography
QCinema IFF
Les Arcs FF
– Youth Jury Prize
Palm Springs IFF
Ajanta-Ellora IFF
Créteil International Women’s FF
Kosmorama Trondheim IFF
Istanbul IFF
– Special Jury Prize Int. Competition
Mediterrane FF
– Best Production Design
New Horizons IFF
Guanajuato IFF
Melbourne IFF

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