The Jakarta Post
Both Sekar (Sekar Sari, left) and her mother (Christine Hakim) share a deep love of batik in 'Sekar'. (Galeri Indonesia Kaya/File)
Sekar, a 30-minute film about batik, made its debut on Monday at Galeri Indonesia Kaya in Grand Indonesia, Central Jakarta. The film’s premiere was held in conjunction with National Batik Day, which is celebrated every year on Oct. 2.
Directed by Kamila Andini (The Seen and Unseen, 2017), Sekar is about a visually impaired woman named Sekar (Sekar Sari) whose world is full of batik, especially ones made by her mother (Christine Hakim). Sekar is always beside her mother whenever she makes batik to smell the scent of malam (hot liquid wax) and hear the rustling sound of the fabric and the stove. She will then touch the dried wax on the fabric to feel the pattern.
One day Sekar meets a jeweler (Marthino Lio). Through him, she finds a new medium for batik as he introduces her to silver jewelry adorned with batik patterns. Sekar’s mother grows concerned about their relationship and is determined to protect Sekar the same way she protects her batik.
A scene from 'Sekar', a 30-minute film directed by Kamila Andini. (Galeri Indonesia Kaya/File)
With the movie, Kamila Andini aims to present an inspiring story about the true meaning of batik.
“I also encourage the audience to enjoy every sound, visual and feeling of batik, just like what Sekar feels,” Kamila said in a press release. “Through the relationship between Sekar and her mother, I wanted to show a deep love that may cause anxiety – feeling anxious over separation and loss. The love of Sekar’s mother is an analogy for our deep love of our culture.”
Happy Salma, the film’s producer and founder of the Titimangsa Foundation, said she was very proud of the film.
“Kamila dares to use batik as a backdrop and she presented it in an interesting manner through the inspiring life of a blind woman,” Happy said.
Sekar is a collaboration between the Titimangsa Foundation and Fourcolours Film, supported by the Bakti Budaya Djarum Foundation. The film is available on Indonesia Kaya’s YouTube channel.
A batik exhibition at Lobby Shinta in Grand Indonesia's East Mall. (Galeri Indonesia Kaya/File)
A batik exhibition is also being held from Monday to Oct. 14 as part of National Batik Day. Located in Lobby Shinta at the East Mall of Grand Indonesia, the exhibition showcases batik makers and fabrics from the Central Java cities of Kudus, Pekalongan and Surakarta, as well as Madura in East Java. Visitors will also be able to see directly how batik is produced. (wir/wng)