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'Nyanyian Akar Rumput' released in theaters Thursday

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, January 16, 2020  /  02:56 pm

Award-winning documentary film, Nyanyian Akar Rumput (The Song of Grassroots), is set to hit cinemas starting Thursday.

Made over the course of four years, the film tells the story of Fajar Merah, the youngest daughter of late Indonesian activist Wiji Thukul, who was kidnapped by the New Order regime. He, alongside 12 other activists, disappeared in 1998. His whereabouts are still unknown.

Fajar, now a member of a local band, Merah Bercerita, was only 5 when it happened. She continues to preserve her father’s work through music.

The film also features several of Wiji’s poems, including "Bunga dan Tembok" (Flowers and Wall), "Kebenaran akan Terus Hidup" (The Truth will Live), "Apa Guna" (What Use) and "Derita Sudah Naik Seleher" (The Pain has Risen to the Neck).

Read also: Wiji Thukul's daughter heals tragedy with poetry

In a recent interview, director Yuda Kurniawan expressed his gratitude that the film was to be played across 12 cities, namely Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Malang, Surakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Palembang, Purwokerto, Bogor, Bandung, Depok and Semarang.

He also mentioned his hope that President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo would go to a screening, reported.

Despite winning several prestigious awards including a Citra Award (2018), a NETPAC Award (2018), a Maya Award (2019) and an Honorable Mention Award from the Figueira Da Foz International Film Festival in Portugal (2019), Yuda said he was concerned about public perception as documentary films portray heavy topics.

He said he hoped to change this perception with Nyanyian Akar Rumput. (vel/kes)

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