Jakarta. Family members and friends of disappeared poet Wiji Thukul will visit the State Palace on Tuesday (10/01) to deliver their invitation for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to see the poet's new biopic "Istirahatlah Kata-Kata" (Solo, Solitude), directed by Yosep Anggi Noen.
Speaking at a press conference in South Jakarta on Sunday (08/01), Wiji's younger brother Wahyu Susilo said the movie is a collective effort by a group of artists called "Barisan Pengingat" (Front of Remembrance) to preserve the memory of the activist-poet, who went missing in 1998 and whose whereabouts is still unknown.
"The aim of this movie is simple. We just want to remind the government that 13 activists were 'disappeared' in 1998 and they're now still missing. The state owes us [an answer]," he said.
Wahyu and Wiji's eldest daughter Fitri Nganthi Wani said Jokowi had met with Wiji's family several times during his years as a mayor of Solo in Central Java — also the poet's hometown.
According to Wahyu, Joko had once told the family that he greatly admired Wiji's poems.
After he was elected Jakarta governor, Jokowi had invited Wiji's family for dinner at his official residence.
"Jokowi has to see this film. It's a reminder for him that he had once promised to solve the case of the missing activists," Wahyu said.
Raharjo Waluyo Jati, who was also an activist in 1998, said Indonesians must remember Wiji and the power of his words.
"Wiji, in his poems, gave us a picture of another reality that was not talked about on mainstream media at that time," he recalled. "For those who grew up in the post-Reformasi era, this may sound absurd, but time was very different then."
Written and directed by Yogyakarta director Yosep Anggi Noen, Istirahatlah Kata-Kata follows Wiji during eight months in hiding from Indonesian authorities in Pontianak, Kalimantan.
It stars Gunawan Maryanto as Wiji and Marissa Anita as Wiji's wife, Sipon.
The film opens for limited release at Cinema 21, CGV Cinemas and Cinemaxx on Jan. 19.
Watch the Istirahatlah Kata-Kata trailer below: