press enter to search

Documentary film ‘Song for my Children’ to present 1965 survivors’ voices

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, May 10, 2017  /  11:44 am
Documentary film ‘Song for my Children’ to present 1965 survivors’ voices

'Song for my Children' director/producer Shalahuddin Siregar during Good Pitch 2 Southeast Asia 2017 at Goethehaus, Jakarta, on May 4. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)

Good Pitch 2 (Good Pitch Squared) Southeast Asia 2017 was held in Goethehaus in Central Jakarta on Thursday. The event featured four documentaries from across the region, namely Song for my Children, Audio Perpetua, Intuition and Sunday Beauty Queen.

Song for my Children was the only Indonesian documentary film presented in the event.

The movie, which is slated to be produced in October, follows a women's choir group called Dialita, whose members are survivors or relatives of the victims of a purge of alleged communists in 1965. It aims to share the survivors’ stories and perspectives with Indonesians, especially the younger generations.

“Until today, Indonesians still see communism as a ghost,” the documentary’s director/producer Shalahuddin Siregar told The Jakarta Post via email, adding that politicians still use the issue to create fear to get power.

Read also: Good Pitch2 Southeast Asia 2017 goes beyond filmmaking

A still from 'Song for my Children'. (

Most of Dialita’s songs were written behind prison bars. However, the group presents the songs in an optimism and joyful rhythm, showing their love of the nation.

He explained that Dialita did not want to raise communist ideas. “They are a group of ladies who want to tell the history to the younger generation, so the tragedy would not happen again in Indonesia,” he said.

Song for my Children received positive feedback, in financial and other areas, during Good Pitch 2 Southeast Asia 2017. During the event, the Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) announced that it would promote the movie at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival on May 17 to 28 in France.

Shalahuddin hoped that the documentary would attract sales agents or broadcasters, which would allow the filmmaking team to have a co-production partner.  

“In addition to the co-production, [we also hope] there will be exposure to the movie, which adds an extra value when the movie is released.” (asw)