Private Project

The Song Of Grassroots

Fajar Merah (21) is the son of Wiji Thukul – a poets and human rights activist who was 'made to disappeared' in 1998 by The Soeharto Regime. Together with 'Merah Bercerita', a band established at 2010, and supported by his family, he tries to bring back his father's poems to life, covers them with music notations and creates a music album.

In a dynamic background of 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election, 16 years after the 1998 tragedy, Fajar and family develops a new hope on one candidate; Joko Widodo, to solve some Human Rights Violation cases, to find Wiji Thukul and other victims.

  • Yuda Kurniawan
    Director
  • Yuda Kurniawan
    Writer
  • Yuda Kurniawan
    Producer
  • Fajar Merah
    Key Cast
  • Film Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 52 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 5, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    35,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Indonesia
  • Country of Filming:
    Indonesia
  • Film Language:
    Indonesian
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 23rd Busan International Film Festival 2018
    Busan
    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of
    October 7, 2018
    World Premiere
    Documentary Competition in Wide Angle Section
  • 13th Jogja-Netpac Asian Film Festival 2018
    Jogjakarta
    Indonesia
    December 2, 2018
    Indonesian Premiere
    Winner NETPAC Award.
  • 38th Indonesian Film Festival 2018
    Jakarta
    Indonesia
    December 9, 2018
    Indonesian Premiere
    Winner Citra Award, Best Documentary Feature. (Indonesian Oscar)
  • 17th Yogyakarta Documentary Film Festival 2018
    Yogyakarta
    Indonesia
    December 10, 2018
    Indonesian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 7th MAYA Award 2018
    Jakarta
    Indonesia
    January 19, 2019
    Winner MAYA Award for Best Feature Length Documentary
  • 1st Diorama International Film Festival 2019
    New Delhi
    India
    January 15, 2019
    India Premiere
    International Documentary Competition
  • 7th International Festival of Docufilms on Liberations and Human Rights 2019
    Dhaka
    India
    April 18, 2019
    Bangladesh Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 15th Kazan International Muslim Film Festival
    Kazan
    Russian Federation
    April 24, 2019
    Russian Premiere
    International Documentary Competition
  • 15th Jecheon International Music and Film Festival, South Korea, 2019.
    Jecheon
    Korea, Republic of
    August 9, 2019
    Official Selection
  • 10th World Cinema Amsterdam 2019.
    Amsteram
    Netherlands
    August 17, 2019
    Dutch Premiere
    Competition
  • 5th Festival Internacional De Cinema, Figueira Da Foz Film Art, Portugal, 2019
    Portugal
    Portugal
    September 5, 2019
    Portugal Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 7th Asian Film Festival Barcelona, Spain 2019.
    Barcelona
    Spain
    November 6, 2019
    Spain Premiere
    Competition
  • Asian Pacific Screen Awards, Brisbane, Australia, 2019.
    Brisbane
    Australia
    November 6, 2019
    Australia Premiere
    Competition
Director Biography - Yuda Kurniawan

YUDA KURNIAWAN is a documentary film producer and director has received Citra Award, the highest achievement for Indonesian filmmakers given by Indonesian Film Festival. He is also founder of Rekam Docs. His documentary films have been screened in various film festivals both domestic and overseas and has won several awards, one of them is NETPAC Award (Network for the promotion of Asia Pasific Cinema), this is an award given to Asian film director who shows important contributions to the new Asian cinema movement. Some of his documentary film include: "Pesantren Way's of Dakwah" (2016), "The Ballads of Cinema Lovers" (2017) and "The Song of Grassroots" (2018). Currently he is completing his latest documentary feature entitled "Roda-Roda Nada".

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I love music. For me music is a great weapon to express feelings and exchange opinions. It is able to fill layers of age and social class gaps, the reason I decided to do this documentary.

Fajar Merah for me is not only the son of Wiji Thukul, but also a person with a dazzling personality. In a young age, he is able to mix words and music notations with a musicality that beyond average.

Merah Bercerita has developed a decent music character before five years of unity, has become a magnet in their town, Surakarta, then to Central Java, and Indonesia in general.

This documentary is not only about Wiji Thukul family's and the band's hopes of a government that will solve many 1998 Human Rights Violation cases, but also as a mark of a young passionate flaming soul amongst Indonesia's dynamic politics during the 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election.