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Jakarta Post

A very irresistible `Jamila'

  • Nauval Yazid


Jakarta   /   Sun, May 3 2009   /  01:05 pm
Jamila (Atiqah Hasiholan, left) is a prisoner counting her remaining days under the surveillance of Ria (Christine Hakim, right), in a scene from Jamila dan Sang Presiden (Jamila and the President). (Courtesy of MVP Pictures)

We so badly want the film Jamila dan Sang Presiden (Jamila and the President) and its main character Jamila to fail. Jamila is a prostitute serving a life sentence behind bars. She surrenders herself to the authorities after admitting she killed a high-ranking minister, and refuses to be represented by any lawyer or request a plea to ease her sentence. Worse, her sentence is elevated to death after some demonstrators succeed in influencing a court to give her such a punishment. Jamila's character is tough, unlikable as well as stubborn and can easily irk anyone. And so is the film. It is easy to hate the film on the surface. We might be suspicious the movie wants to become an important film that conveys a life-altering message. The kind of film, which for the sake of delivering such a message, does not want to relent with some technical elements to su...