The recovery process for victims of sexual violence is a difficult one. It is clear that it is never easy to 'go through' a bitter past, especially regarding the experience of being a victim of sexual violence. In Indonesia itself, the public generally has not paid much attention to the issue of victims' recovery in cases of sexual violence. The tendency to blame female victims and not perpetrators is also part of the patriarchal culture that underlies the recovery of victims. Therefore, raising this issue in the film is a creative campaign method. The film 27 Steps of May (2019) is one of them, a film that manages to describe the story about the difficulty of the recovery process for victims of sexual violence in good and very detail.
27 Steps of May (2019) Movie Review
The film 27 Steps of May (2019) tells the story of a young woman named May, who became a victim of gang rape when she was 14 years old, when she was still in a white and blue uniform. Eight years later, May is still suffering from deep trauma from the incident. Due to trauma, May decides to withdraw completely from the outside world and spends her time only in her room. He also did not talk to anyone, including his own father.
It was clear that May wasn't the only one suffering from the unfortunate incident. His father is also, the only member of the May family who is highlighted in the film 27 Steps of May (2019). Just as May had a hard time coming to terms with the incident, her father often blamed himself for feeling like he had failed to protect his child. The film 27 Steps of May (2019) also highlights the process of recovering the families of victims of sexual violence, which is also not easy. If May does self-harm, cutting every time she remembers the bad incident, her father vents his explosive anger with boxing which then turns into brutal and dangerous illegal fighting whenever May's condition worsens.
Once, after eight years of suffering deep trauma, May found a hole in her bedroom wall. Although at first she was worried about the hole in the wall, over time May became curious too. From the small hole, May found a magician. Like magic, slowly, May began to open up and progressed in her recovery process.
Film 27 Steps of May (2019) is a film that is more storytelling through symbols in the scene, rather than words. Especially for May's characterization, there is almost no dialogue at all—Raihaanun Soeriaatmadja as May's character, is really challenged to demonstrate everything in gestures and facial expressions. The scenes in this film are heavy, especially for May's sexual violence and self-harmwhat she does: everything is uncensored, perhaps to give the audience a clearer message about the suffering that May goes through, as well as the suffering experienced by women victims of sexual violence in general. The rhythm of this film is also slow and quiet, but therein lies its strength to bring the audience into the storyline about May's recovery process which is gradual, slow, ups and downs, and not easy.
Get Closer to the Figure of May in 27 Step of May (2019)
May is a victim of very brutal sexual violence. The incident was like an ill-fated tragedy for May, so that May was deeply traumatized and deeply traumatized. May is very vulnerable to other people's touch, as she always remembers rapists pulling and holding her by force. May doesn't want to leave the house at all, her life is only centered in her room and a few steps outside the room inside the house. May also did not speak, it was very difficult for her to speak. In the movie 27 Steps of May(2019), May is described as a very perfectionist figure after the fateful incident, everything must be neat, clean and orderly. He also couldn't eat other foods besides white foods (rice, tofu, boiled eggs, clear fish ball soup), because of the trauma of the rapists who forced him to feed him a plate of food.
May's relationship with her father also became very stiff. His father felt completely wrong, confused what to do to help his son. May's daily routine remains the same: eat with her father at the dinner table silently and with her father too, May makes dolls for a living. Until there is a hole in the wall of his room and May gets acquainted with the magician next door. Since then, May is interested in learning magic. The magician, unintentionally, helped May to slowly recover.
Even so, recovery is not instant and not as easy as turning the palm of the hand. First of all, May is always shocked and traumatized by the touch of a magician's hand on her hand. If the trauma recurs, May engages in self-harm on her hands to compensate for the sudden psychological pain. May also suddenly panicked and worried, losing control of herself.
The recovery process ended happily in the film 27 Steps of May (2019). May finally felt relieved and relieved, after sharing all those bitter experiences with the magician. Not with words because it's too difficult for May to explain what happened, but through a reenactment of the sexual assault scene that leaves the magician shocked, confused, and grieving after knowing the secret of the bad experience that May has been keeping all this time. After that, May can wear colored clothes again. She is beautifully dressed with loose hair. Stepping out of the room, met and hugged his father while saying briefly, "It's not your fault. The words his father needed to recover from that fateful incident too.
After years of confining herself in her room, the film closes with a scene where May is finally able to step out of the house. May is finally able to take another step forward in her life, which was frozen at one point. May was finally able to recover, although to recover all this time it took so long and had to be limping. Through the film 27 Steps of May (2019), May shares the same hope for other women victims of sexual violence: the process of recovering from the experience of sexual violence is very difficult, but still possible.
- 99 Homes , 2015, The White Tiger , and the film Slumdog Millionaire (2008) directed by Danny Boyle. As well as the title of the film