Talking Indonesia: human rights on film

In 2016, Tempo magazine named Istirahatlah Kata-Kata (Solo, Solitude) its film of the year. The arthouse film attracted acclaim at festivals around the world, and played to packed houses in cinemas across Indonesia. Since its release, it has sparked discussion, especially among younger audiences, about its subject, poet and activist Widji Thukul, and the mystery still surrounding his disappearance in the last weeks of the New Order. The film raises more questions that it answers about Widji’s disappearance and about the unresolved cases of human rights violations from this period in Indonesia.


What has been the response to this film in Indonesia? How can storytelling about the past through film provide new opportunities for dealing with histories that remain obscured? In this week’s podcast, host Dr Jemma Purdey explores these questions with the film’s director, Yosep Angi Noen.


In 2017, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from Monash University, Dr Dave McRae from the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute, Dr Charlotte Setijadi from the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, and Dr Dirk Tomsa from La Trobe University.


Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via iTunes or listen via your favourite podcasting app.