There’s a strange way the universe and its unwritten laws contribute to the world’s balance and this time, in director Noviandra Santosa’s short film they seem to pretend to be taking the form of a turtle.


There are many ways in which one can regard ‘Tortoise’. But what is the most obvious in it is the theme of sacrifice. And there’s a very delicate question arisen there: should sacrifice be equally ‘available’ to everyone?


The turtle in ‘Tortoise’ surely seems like having all the freewill necessary for making choices and though it could act – in spirit of unconditioned sacrifice which implies equitability – equally, regardless of the nature of whom the sacrifice is being made for, in this case it acts preferentially, or we might go as far as saying it appears to be acting discriminating. Or is it? Because if the turtle is the universe’s laws that bring balance, then there is no place of subjectiveness. However, we said that the universe’s laws ‘seem to pretend to be taking the form of a turtle’ – which means we’re not quite convinced by that, instead we’ve noticed it is a tricky thing that is what one might understand from Noviandra’s film but let’s not forget about the freewill in our present case. That pretty much excludes the universe’s objectiveness.


So instead we propose an exercise of empathy. We encourage the public to take the turtle’s case in the film and make the same choice it did. So the question is: ‘would you take a bullet for anyone’? Or does anyone deserve that? Another interesting thing is the idea of choice for a turtle which we all know is moving very slowly. So its final action might as well be a desperate attempt to save the situation triggered by the feeling of urgency, by the lack of any more time.


There could also be about remorse as a result of its first choice. Learnings are at your disposal but one thing is for sure: this short film has a scary way to put the mirror in front of whoever considers himself a good person that would sacrifice for the better of others and see his reflection in the turtle. Yes, the turtle might be us – all those who are afraid of choices, are processing the information very hard and are hesitating about the good and the bad. In the end we are all triggered by the ‘urgent need’ to take action.