The Jakarta Post
What is a family virtue? Does it have the strength powerful enough to protect the nation from plaguing corruption?
The movie Sebelum Pagi Terulang Kembali (Before the Morning After) is not trying to answer those questions but instead shows that corruption starts at home and always ends at home.
Directed by Lasja Fauzia Susatyo, the movie has multi-star quality that amplifies the strong message in it.
As a promotional tool for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the movie is meant to raise public awareness on what has gone wrong in society and helped corruption, collusion and nepotism (better known in Indonesian as KKN) to become rampant.
The story is about a middle-class family in the capital city that looks perfect from the outside. Yan, played by seasoned actor Alex Komang, is a civil servant with integrity while his wife Ratna (Nungki Kusumastuti) is a philosophy lecturer at a university.
The couple has three grown children: Firman (Teuku Rifnu Wikana), a jobless divorcee with kids; Satria (Fauzi Baadila) who has big dreams about his business as contractor; and the youngest, Dian (the ever luminous Adinia Wirasti) who is engaged to Hasan (Ibnu Jamil), a megalomanical member of the House of Representatives.
Hasan talks Satria into getting a government project from his father in hopes of reap profits from the cost margins. It ends the career of Yan ' but not the fallout from the corruption, which affects the entire family, including Yan's ailing mother Grandma Soen, played by veteran stage actress Maria Oentoe, and his driver Jaka (Ringgo Agus Rahman).
The movie is the second production of Transparency International Indonesia (TII) and was backed by 11 organizations, including Management System International (MSI), USAID, the Indonesian Corruption Watch and the website Hukumonline.
TII's omnibus film Kita versus Korupsi (Us vs Corruption, K vs K) was launched in January 2012 with limited screenings.
Dadang Trisasongko, TII's secretary-general, said that he hoped that Sebelum Pagi, which has been on local screens since May 8, would reach more viewers.
'Film is the most effective media to get the message across and to invite [viewers] to reflect on the phenomenon,' he told the press during a media screening, adding that a portion from the ticket sales would go to fund anti-corruption campaigns.
Screenwriter Sinar Ayu Massie, cinematographer Nurhidayat (Mas Nonot) and editor Sastha Sunu have evoked the glory days of serious Indonesian cinema in previous decades, thanks to the story; the cast, which includes Roy Marten and auteur director Joko Anwar; and artistic shooting.
Producer Abduh Azis from Cangkir Kopi said that those involved in the production shared the same challenge: to produce a good movie with corruption as its big theme.
'The movie is not a narrative of a particular case or a visualization of an investigation. It goes deeper, questioning our integrity and human values when facing difficult choices,' he said.
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