Features Movie Review

Eva Stories: When Instagram, Holocaust, and a Diary Collide

Eva Stories (2019)

In 2019, the world was introduced to a unique and innovative storytelling experience that broke new ground in the realm of social media and film. “Eva Stories,” a short film created entirely through Instagram Stories, captured the hearts and minds of viewers around the globe. Directed by Mati Kochavi and produced by his daughter, Maya Kochavi, this project asked a compelling question: What if Instagram existed in the past? While exploring this idea, “Eva Stories” also delivered a powerful narrative and imagery as a solemn reminder of the importance of remembering the Holocaust.

The premise of “Eva Stories” is simple yet brilliantly profound. To put it simply, it is based on The Diary of Eva Heyman, where the story follows the life of a young Jewish girl in Hungary during World War II. The film invites us into Eva’s experience through her Instagram stories, as she documented her life during those horrendous times. This ingeniously conveys Eva’s life from the blissful days of youth to the harrowing experiences she and her family endure as the Holocaust unfolds.

Eva Stories tells the story of 13-year-old Jewish girl Eva Heyman during World War II. (Screenshot from Instagram’s @eva.stories)

One of the most remarkable aspects of “Eva Stories” is its ability to blend the familiar format of Instagram Stories with the grim historical backdrop of the Holocaust. The juxtaposition of Eva’s seemingly typical teenage experiences, such as friendships, school, and romance, with the gradual encroachment of Nazi oppression is deeply moving. It reminds us that behind every historical statistic, there is a real person with dreams, hopes, and fears.

The performances in “Eva Stories” are surprisingly incredible, especially by its young lead actress, Mia Quiney, who brought Eva Heyman’s character to life with authenticity and emotion. Her portrayal adds a human touch to the historical narrative, making Eva’s story even more heartbreaking. Oh, and not to mention their meticulously crafted production design, and no, I’m not only talking about the outfits. They have a tank too.

Critics argue that condensing such a complex historical event into Instagram Stories may oversimplify the Holocaust. While this is a valid concern, “Eva Stories” was never intended to be a comprehensive historical account. It serves as a remembrance to what millions of people suffered.

In conclusion, “Eva Stories” is a remarkable piece of cinematic storytelling that bridges the past and present through the innovative use of social media. It somewhat creates a precedent in the potential of cinematic writing; we’ve seen films like “Searching” (2018) and “Missing” (2023), but “Eva Stories” brings something new to the table. Besides the important message that it conveys, this innovation alone is a reason to go see the short film. In a way, this way of storytelling easily takes us to places where (or when) we could not go before. I can’t say that I want to relive the Holocaust, but “Eva Stories” asks us to empathize. It brilliantly synthesizes the impact of both storytelling in the digital age and historical narratives.

You can find the short film through their official Instagram profile @eva.stories


Journalist: Brian Alexander/204214181

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)


Features Movie Review

The Little Mermaid (2023): Look at This Film, It’s Actually Neat!

The Little Mermaid (2023) Movie Poster

The bar for Disney’s live-action remakes is at the bottom of the ocean. It’s no surprise that people doubt any of the newest launches of Disney’s live-action remakes. One of them is a live-action with the same title, based on the beloved 1989 animation The Little Mermaid, which is also derived from a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

Rob Marshall, well-known for directing both Mary Poppins Returns (2018) and the Broadway musical Chicago (2002), took on the director role for The Little Mermaid live-action. At the same time, writing credits went to David Magee, the scriptwriter for the live-action, as well as the scriptwriters for the previous animated version: Ron Clements and John Musker. The film was joined by an all-star cast, including Javier Bardem, Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, Daveed Digs, Noma Dumezweni, and Jacob Tremblay. A first-timer as a leading actress in big-budget film production, Halle Bailey has been chosen to portray Ariel, the compassionate and curious leading mermaid (read: character). Jonah Hauer-King, another underrated and first-timer actor in big-budget film production, was cast as the dashing and adventurous Prince Eric.

The Little Mermaid live-action follows Ariel (Halle Bailey), a curious, free-spirited, good-natured young mermaid who is fascinated by the human world despite never seeing it. One day, she misses the Coral Moon meeting, where she and her sisters gather with their father, the king of all merfolk in Atlantica, Triton (Javier Bardem), as a result of collecting human objects beforehand alongside her best friends, Flounder (Jacob Tremblay) and Scuttle (Awkwafina). Her curiosity about the world above leads to constant arguments with her father. Triton forbade any merfolk to go above the surface after the death of his beloved wife. That does not stop Ariel from getting near a ship, which happens to be Prince Eric’s (Jonah Hauer-King) ship, and rescuing him from the shipwreck. After that, Eric becomes another reason for her to want to live above in the human world. It all goes downhill when Triton hears about the news and argues outrageously with Ariel, which drives her away to the sea-witch Ursula (Melissa McCarthy). After making an unbreakable deal with Ursula by trading her voice, Ariel is now a human with a goal to win the prince’s heart in three days, or else she will turn back into a mermaid.

Disney’s live-action films are known to be only a cash grab without any new creativity or nuance. Although live-action films such as The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast are box-office hits, critics and moviegoers alike are giving unfavorable reviews about them. Meanwhile, The Little Mermaid hit the box office with a 68% Tomatometer and 94% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, along with 7.2/10 on IMDb. Even though the casting choices had created a conflict among the fans early on, Halle Bailey proved them wrong when The Little Mermaid finally launched on May 26th. Halle Bailey was mesmerizing as she embodied the spirit of Ariel and her melodious, captivating voice. Bailey expressed the idea that her version of Ariel is more nuanced than the animated version. “I’m really excited for my version of the film because we’ve definitely changed that perspective of just her wanting to leave the ocean for a boy,” she says. “It’s way bigger than that. It’s about herself, her purpose, her freedom, her life, and what she wants.” 

A live-action remake usually has a few changes from the original material. This time, the live-action fleshes out Eric’s backstory. He’s not just the prince charming and love interest of Ariel anymore. The film depicts Eric as an adopted child of Queen Selina (Noma Dumezweni), who loves to sail across the ocean and collects sea artifacts, a perfect contrast to Ariel, who loves the human world and collects human objects. Jonah Hauer-King brings out the adventurous yet gentle side of Eric. 

Nevertheless, it is unfortunate when a chosen character has more screen time in the remake while another character has less, such as Flounder. It is odd to watch Ariel without Flounder by her side most of the time. The idea of Ursula being an estranged sister of Triton in the early production of the animated version has been brought back in the live-action. Unfortunately, that idea is not delivered strong enough to impress me. Although the songs and singing sequences still have the same tone as the animated one, some of the live-action performance still suffers from the dullness of CGI, like Under the Sea and Poor Unfortunate Souls.

I remember feeling skeptical about the idea of The Little Mermaid being a live-action. The Little Mermaid animated version had been a constant companion throughout my childhood. If you follow the track records of Disney’s live-action, most of them lack the magical and alluring story that most people associate with Disney animation. After watching The Little Mermaid, I thought the film was not as terrible as its predecessors. Indeed, it can look dull and unappealing sometimes with the amount of CGI. Some performance changes, like Melissa McCarthy’s Poor Unfortunate Souls performance, can be pretty underwhelming compared to Pat Carrol’s original rendition. Most of the time, I enjoyed watching The Little Mermaid at the theater. I liked that the new version of Fireworks and Fathom’s Below became one performance. I squealed when Ariel answered Eric’s question about her name in her own way without the help of Sebastian, making their chemistry further explored. I love how the film starts with Hans Christian Andersen’s quote, “But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more”, and we never see Ariel shed tears once until the end of the movie, where she cries happy tears for finally becoming a real human and live happily ever after with Eric.

Compared to other live-action remakes I’ve watched, The Little Mermaid doesn’t damage the memory of the original that much. Because at the end of the day, Disney live-actions are cash grabs relying on people’s nostalgia and familiarity rather than further exploring new possibilities and delivering compelling visual storytelling.



Weaver, J. (2023, May 26). The Little Mermaid’s biggest success? It’s not as terrible as live-action remakes can be. CBC.

Murray, T. (2023, March 21). Halle Bailey says her Ariel will be more ‘nuanced’ than original: She won’t just ‘leave the ocean for a boy.’ The Independent.

Bahr, L. (2023, May 26). Movie Review: Disenchantment under the sea in live-action ‘The Little Mermaid.’ AP NEWS., O. (2023, April 12). Halle Bailey says the live-action “Little Mermaid” will show more of Ariel’s “passions and what she wants for herself” alongside her love story. Insider.


Journalist: Kenar Syalaisha Kanayana

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)


Features Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: A Farewell to Find a Home

Spoiler Alert!

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James Gunn directed Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 which was released on May 3rd, 2023. At the beginning of the film, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) appeared to have lost his way after learning that his ex-girlfriend, Gamora (Zoe Saldana), did not recognize him. However, tragedy struck when the planet was unexpectedly assaulted by a Warlock (Will Poulter), attempting to kidnap Rocket who was gravely hurt as a result of the unexpected attack, necessitating surgery. However, the crew could not operate without a ‘key’ to access Rocket’s body.

Rocket never mentioned his past which confused the crew about how they could find the ‘key’ to access Rocket’s body. But with the help of Mantis (Pom Klementieff) who could read minds, they found a bright spot to find the ‘key’. That bright spot led to High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji). So, the Guardians crew, led by Peter Quill, chose to go straight to the High Evolutionary, a person obsessed with living a perfect life, who developed and experimented with animals to attain that aim. Rocket’s past turned out to be very sad and dark; maybe he never talked about it because it was too painful to remember.

When the audience learned about Rocket’s past, they became angry and sad, but this did not stop the crew of The Guardians of the Galaxy from injecting humor into their film. The mix of humor and seriousness was executed flawlessly because, so far, The Guardians of the Galaxy has been associated with fun flicks while also addressing critical issues. Some critical issues were when Rocket almost died because of dwindling time and Peter Quill almost froze in space without a respirator because he couldn’t get into the spaceship, but fortunately all of them survived in the end.

The Guardians of the Galaxy film series begins with Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special, which will air on Disney+ in November 2022. To avoid confusion, do not forget to watch Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special. 

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special represents how Peter Quill was very desperate because Gamora, who lives now, was not Gamora that he knows. In the previous Marvel movie, Avengers: Infinity War, Gamora had died in her father’s hands, Thanos. The Avengers succeeded in turning back time, and Gamora was saved. But because of the overlaps in time, the Gamora they saved did not know nor worked with the Avengers. Therefore, they had to start building a relationship from scratch again. Peter Quill was so mad about it that it worried all his friends. So in Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special, there is a story about the crew’s journey to find Peter Quill’s new love. But all was not successful until this story continues in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, where Peter Quill and Gamora are reunited.

The rescue mission’s conclusion was tense. After the mission, the Guardians crew wondered what ‘home’ was, so they decided to disband and go find their own ‘home.’ It was both touching and heartbreaking to see them part ways, but they all found their own ‘home’ in the end. Peter Quill chose to go back to his homeland, which is Earth, and this creates a new beginning for the Guardians with their new captain, Rocket. Although the Guardian crew lost several members, they also added new members, such as Warlock, who finally decided to join.

The actors and actresses performed outstanding acting. Their chemistry is so strong that it caused both laughter and tears from the audience. Also, the film is equipped with sound effects that are very unique to Guardians of the Galaxy, which are music from the 70-80s era and makes the audience really enjoy the storyline. The phrase “The Legendary Star-Lord will be back” appears in the film’s post-credits, implying that the story will be continued. If you are interested, take your time to watch it!


Author: Erica Rafaella

Editor: Desca Geovani Kristi, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)


Features Movie Review

A Ghost Story, a Non-Horror Story of a Ghost

A Ghost Story Poster


A Ghost Story is a 2017 fantasy/drama movie directed by David Lowery. Two prominent names to star in this movie are Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

Although it is titled A Ghost Story, this isn’t a horror movie. Rather, this movie tells a story about a man who came back as a ghost to watch over his mourning wife from the other side. Unfortunately, as a ghost, there’s nothing much he can do. He is stuck as a ghost and slowly becomes lonely and forgotten.

Although there’s not much to say about the summary of the plot, it actually carries a more profound meaning about grief. It’s about the acceptance of death, mourning, and reconciling with time.

It’s all about time. 

— A Ghost Story (2017)This movie is a critically acclaimed movie that people somewhat call an “artsy” movie. The aesthetic of A Ghost Story is something that the movie can truly be proud of. Every shot is beautifully captured. In this captured scene below, for example. It can be seen that the blue-ish color palette helps the viewers to feel the mutual feeling of loneliness as the ghost character feels. From the tone of the movie itself, it delivers the mood of both the vacancy in life and the absurdity of the film.

One of the scenes from A Ghost Story


However, some people may find it difficult to understand what this movie is trying to convey. The plot of the movie can be considered incomprehensible to some degree. Its back-and-forth types of delivery make it difficult to follow. On top of that, there is almost no dialogue in it which can complicate things even further.

But a movie isn’t always about the plot. Sometimes, it’s worth just experiencing the vibe of the movie. A Ghost Story’s tone and vibe will mesmerize the audience who just wants to sit and experience the movie. However, for a viewer seeking a captivating storyline that can easily engage them, this movie can be a bit boring even though it only has 1 hour and 32 minutes duration. Moreover, it’s a movie with a slow tempo. For some people who are not patient enough, this leisurely-paced movie isn’t the right fit for them.This movie received a decent rating from IMDb. It’s 6.8/10. Overall, A Ghost Story is definitely a highly recommended movie to be put on your must-watch list.



Author: Valentina Pascalia

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Vonna Meisya Saputra (QC)

Features Movie Review

Link Click: Do Not Judge an Animation by Its Look!

“Never change the past, and never change the future,” said Lu Guang to Cheng Xiaoshi.

(Retrieved May 12, 2023 from

Li Haoling as the director did a great job when he decided to make one of the best animations that expressed so many emotions in each of its episodes. This animation is Link Click, which aired for the first time on the Bilibili platform on 30th April 2021. Link Click is also known by the Chinese title which is Shíguāng Dàilǐ Rén (時光代理人), meaning The Time Agents. This Chinese animation is also referred to as a donghua (东华), and it has only 11 episodes in total.

Link Click tells a story about two young men who have their own special abilities, Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang. They are two special employees of a photo studio called Time Photo Studio that belongs to a girl called Qiao Ling. Time Photo Studio has a special service of going into the customer’s past through their photos with the help of her friends. Lu Guang, who has the power to see back to the past, and Cheng Xiaoshi, who has the power to possess people’s bodies, work together to help their customers go back in time in order to find out something, seek clarification, or tell a message to other people. However, they have one certain rule they must not break at all which is to never change the past. Although the plot seems straightforward, Link Click’s plot isn’t as simple as it seems.

Even though Link Click is just one of many time-travel themed animations, the content presented by this animation have their uniqueness. Each episode has a different main theme and issue that are relevant to our lives. There is an episode about a relationship between parents and children, friends, or two lovers. There is also an episode that raised the issue of sexual harassment experienced by women in the workplace. I have to admit, this animation still managed to leave a deep impression even after I watched it two years ago, and it is still very worthy to watch.

For me, Link Click is a hidden gem because even though it has not-so-attractive visuals like Japanese anime, this animation has a fairly high rating on various movie review platforms, such as 8.6/10 on IMDb and 8.7/10 on MyAnimeList. There are some things that support the high rating of this anime: the perfect mix of soundtracks, neat scripts, and thrilling plots. In my opinion, the voice actors’ ability to explore the characters contributed a large part of the success in making Link Click, and makes it one of the best Chinese animations. Moreover, the depth and development of each character are certain and unhurried. Therefore, the viewers can get to know and connect with the characters, and they can be easily carried away in the storyline when they are watching the animation.

Link Click picked up many genres beautifully and each episode managed to stir up the emotions of the viewer even more. Just imagine, who would have thought that the animation which initially showed a slice of life issues covered in light genres such as friendship, family, romance, with additional angst seasoning, would turn towards something completely opposite and present a big plot twist at the end of the season? Even though it consists of many conflicts, Link Click still presents moral messages that can be learned at the end of each episode. One of the moral messages that still rings in my mind is what Cheng Xiaoshi always emphasized after returning from his time travel trip: not to waste time.

If you are the type of viewer who is brave enough to challenge your own emotions, then maybe you can give Link Click a shot.



Author: Dulce Cicilia Sariri

Editor: Yohana Satvika Wahyuveda, Ruth Tirza Arina (QC)


Features Movie Review

Bocchi The Rock! Review

Characters of Bocchi The Rock!. “REVIEW: ‘Bocchi The Rock,’ Season 1 Delivers The First Steps Of A Special Musical Journey,” by Charles Hartford, 24 Dec. 2022.,

(Ikuyo Kita)             (Ryo Yamada)             (Hitori Gotoh/Bocchi)            (Nijika Ijichi)

Are you tired of watching the same old anime with the same old isekai and rom-com genres? Then, prepare to rock out with Bocchi the Rock! Follow the life of the timid and introverted Hitori Gotoh, aka Bocchi, on her adventures and struggle to form her own band. Along the way, she meets new friends such as the kind-and-friendly Nijika Ijichi, the eccentric Ryo Yamada, and the sociable yet cheerful Ikuyo Kita. Will they succeed in forming their band, and can they pull off their first concert?

This anime has a progressive plot since it follows the manga. The anime is still brand new, having only been released on October 9th, 2022. Bocchi the Rock! is a massive success since this anime has some key factors that attract its viewers, but first, let’s understand the plot of Bocchi the Rock!.

Hitori Gotoh from Bocchi The Rock!. “Bocchi the Rock! – Review,” by Rafael Motamayor, 30 Dec. 2022.,

Hitori Gotoh aka Bocchi is a high schooler who dreams of becoming the best guitarist in the world, but she has one problem: she has social anxiety, a fear of interaction, and is basically introverted. She panics since her future could be a game of life that goes down. She thinks of an idea to form a band, but she soon shuts it down since she is too shy to interact with anyone. One faithful day, she meets someone who will soon change her life. Nijika is looking for a guitarist. She sees Bocchi, and after a few moments, Bocchi is now at Nijika’s place with one of Nijika’s friends, Ryo. They try performing together before stopping after listening to their awful performance. Although their first time goes terribly, they never give up, and Bocchi makes a promise to help Nijika and improve the band. The band will have a journey from nothing to modest fame. There’s still a lot that goes on, but that is the main plot of Bocchi the Rock!.

I was eager to write a review of this show because of how unique it is. I enjoyed the storyline and how the anime developed each character; because Bocchi is the main character she receives the most development, but it is done smoothly. I really like where Bocchi goes into a character development arc after meeting Nijika, Kita, and Ryo. Their journey is not always smooth sailing. They have to prepare many things for their concert. And for Bocchi, she has to handle her social anxiety attack. Though having a hard time, they try their best and never give up. Together, their band “Kessoku” prevails at their second concert, and Bocchi really shines and shows her true self. Last but not least, the graphics for a slice-of-life anime are fantastic, despite the use of CGI at times. But it’s used appropriately, hence why it’s so charming.

This anime attracts its viewers because it’s not only about cute anime girls doing cute anime things; it’s also about someone who’s trying to overcome their social anxiety, the struggle of forming a band, and how friendships are made. And thanks to this, they manage to win the coveted Anime of the Year award at the 9th Anime Trending Awards, overcoming other competitors. So, if you’re looking for a different anime, give Bocchi the Rock! a chance.

Journalist: Putu Beryl Putra Widyadhana

Editor: Nanda Pratama Putera Tomasila, Ruth Tirza Arina(QC)

Features Movie Review

The Age of Adeline (2015)

Directed by Lee Toland Krieger, The Age of Adaline (2015) is an American romance fantasy movie following the story of a girl named Adaline (Blake Lively), who stops aging at the age of 29. The movie unfolds with the phenomenon of her immortality, starting from the day during a snowstorm when Adaline’s car crashed into a lake and causing her to drown and freeze to death in the cold lake. Suddenly, a lightning strike revived her and caused her body to stop aging from that moment onward.

In the world where most people search for the secret for everlasting youth, receiving the gift of immortality without looking nor wishing for it surely becomes a blessing for those who were given the rare chance. However, this is not the case for Adaline who has to live on the run, moving out every now and then and changing her identity in order to hide from the authority who longs to unveil the secret behind her immortality. 

Who wouldn’t be curious of the impossible  though, even Adaline herself dedicated an entire year to study her condition, hoping to find an answer that might help her to age again, but her effort resulted in nothing while all the life around her keeps aging. Her dog has had for many generations accompanied her and when her own daughter becomes older than her, she has to call her own daughter “mother” in public. The pain from feeling like a fugitive and the fact that she might outlive her own daughter makes her close any possibility for romance.

Using a scientific approach to narrate her condition, this documentary-like movie embarks the journey of Adaline who closed her heart decades ago to stop running away for good from making commitment and trusting people who love her. The outstanding performance, as well as the  cinematography with the shocking plot twist drives us on the edge of our seat, rooting for Adaline’s happiness.

From Adaline we learn the lesson that opening our heart to those who cared for us can turn out better than we previously imagined. If we have enough courage to face our problem, we will find ourselves in the position we never knew we actually needed.

Journalist: Ervina Aimee

Editor: Ulfah Rizqiningtias

Pic: Google

Features Movie Review

HOMESTAY: ‘H’ in Homestay Stands for Happiness

“Homestay” is a melodrama supernatural movie released in 2018 directed by Parkpoom Wongpoom. This movie tells the story of a boy named Min (James Teeradon) who should discover death in 100 days. The 100 days will change his life forever because he didn’t only discover what’s behind that death, but also the bigger things.

“Homestay” is a movie that maybe wouldn’t deliver a direct meaning of serendipity, but that feeling will intensely evoke through the series of events in Min – the main character – ‘s life. His story reminded us that happiness can be found anywhere and anytime in an unexpected way, even in the most critical time.The story is about a teenager – 18 years old – who was in the hospital during a rainy day and met some strangers that turn to be his guardian. They are trying to tell him that he is just a spirit who promised a new body to live in – Min’s body, for one condition. He should live in that body like he stayed in a homestay for 100 days and have to discover the reason behind the owner’s suicide.

“Homestay” might felt heavy as it contains a mixed timeline and multi-layered story. It might not be suitable to fulfill the leisure, but this movie is worth watching as it serves amazing cinematography and great execution to the plot. This movie invites us to be concentrated and pay attention to the tiniest details because it gave clues. Little things like how the character has a girlfriend, how he has a grumpy brother, and an affectionate mother – it all wrapped so well in every scene, which turns to deliver a value about little happiness around him and turns to be a piece of serendipity.

Min probably hate the fact about how complicated to live a life in this homestay, but then he realized there are so many things to be grateful for. At the end of the story, he turns himself to say, “Thank you so much for this gift.” He can find the happiness he had been looking for the rest of his life during the time in homestay though he’s not intentionally seeking it. It was serendipity for him to know those precious little things that can make him the happiest he had ever been.

“Homestay” gain more kudos as not many Asian movie productions are brave enough to take this kind of sensitive issue – mental health for teenagers. As the director himself said that this movie intentionally would like to tell how we should value all the time in this mortal life we live – our “homestay” in this world. Why? because from that time, maybe we will find something precious that we never expected to exist before, such as happiness. This movie highly recommended for the teenager, especially those who have struggled to live. But before you watch this film, make sure you pay attention to some ‘trigger warnings’ such as graphic visual of suicide, self-harm, divorce, and other disturbing contents that might be contained in this movie. If you think that you are ready enough to watch this movie, enjoy the movie!


Journalist: Winda Amelia 

Editor: Vincenzo Halim 

Pics: google