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Jakarta Post

'Invisible Hopes': A real look at the lives of female inmates and their prison-born children

Director Lamtiar Simorangkir with some female inmates and their children.(JP/Courtesy of Lam Horas Film)
Yudhistira Agato
Jakarta   ●   Sat, April 17 2021

“Please open the door!” several children cry as they grip and shake the bars of the door to their cell. They wait every day for a prison officer to let them out of the narrow, crowded space they share with dozens of adult female inmates and their children.

They are the children of female prisoners who were born and are being raised in prison, which has effectively robbed them of a normal childhood.

Invisible Hopes is a full-length documentary by Lam Horas Film that depicts the harsh reality of life behind bars for these children and their incarcerated mothers. Shot mostly at Pondok Bambu female penitentiary in East Jakarta, the documentary film follows the lives of several inmates, some pregnant, their children and the daily hardships they experience.

L, a former inmate in her 30s, explained the struggles she went through while she wa...

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