Fine Cut

American Sweetheart

About the Film

Clara, a suburban housewife stuck in conventionality, stumbles upon hints that her beloved husband, William, has been cheating on her. Transfixed in her domestic situation, Clara re-discovers herself while baking an elegant cake for William.

Director's Statement

The idea of American Sweetheart came to me three years ago during my first year living in the United States. I was still adapting to American society and was living with a conservative Caucasian girl who decorated our apartment in pink, green and white, very meticulously. This blonde-haired girl is quite a character, I must say: the perfect classic 50s'housewife material.

She has three different colors of cutting board that are used separately for bread, fruits and meat. She has her strict routine and never breaks it. She cooks, bakes, scrapbooks, loves kids and wants to have that typical 'white picket-fence' ending.

However, the experience of living in a place where everything has to be precise made me feel a little sick. Even though I have my own room, it felt like she hid a dead rat in my room and never told me about it. I never really talked to her about any of this, but I decided to make it into a short film. The recipe was taken from one of her baking books on the shelf in her living room.

Portrait of Karin Binanto.

About the Filmmaker

Born and raised in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia, director Karin Binanto has had an interest in the art of filmmaking since the age of fourteen. In high school, she enrolled in Advanced Theater Arts in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program where she was inspired to make films. Her film team, Ciinematogrampiong, produced five shorts within two years. Among those 􀏐ilms, two were entered into Indonesian film fesitvals: Global Indie Film Festival and SuLasFiFest. One of Karin's films were also aired on national television, Global TV.

After graduating from High School, Karin moved to Jakarta to be an apprentice for a prominent Indonesian film director, Hanung Bramantyo. It was there she learned on-set etiquette and the essence of storytelling. Hanung inspired her to see humanism from a different perspective, which later influenced her writing and directing style.

Karin's studies in Jakarta crystallized her passion for filmmaking, and in 2008 she moved to Los Angeles to hone her skills as a Director and Writer at Columbia College - Hollywood. She continues to sharpen her skills in order to endow all of her films with refined authenticity. Her long term goal is to make films that have a global reach and impact positive exposure towards Indonesian culture.