Some of the scenes in 'Kuambil Lagi Hatiku' ('I Take My Heart Back') were shot at Borobudur Temple in Magelang, Central Java. (Photo courtesy of Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko)

State-Owned Filmmaker PFN Releases 'Kuambil Lagi Hatiku' After 26-Year Absence


MARCH 21, 2019

Jakarta. State-owned film producer Produksi Film Negara released its first movie in 26 years, titled "Kuambil Lagi Hatiku" ("I Take My Heart Back") on Thursday.

Several familiar faces, including Ria Irawan, Cut Mini, Lala Karmela, Dimas Aditya, Dian Sidik and Ence Bagus, and newcomers, such as Sahil Shah, star in the drama-comedy directed by Azhar "Kinoi" Lubis.

The story is about Sinta (played by Lala), the daughter of a mixed Indonesian-Indian couple, who is about to get married to an Indian man, when her Indonesian mother, Widi (played by Cut Mini), unexpectedly flees to Indonesia.

Sinta pursues her mother to Indonesia to convince her to return to India and help with her wedding preparations. However, she will fail, because her father had passed away.

"The movie is about the relationship between a mother and her daughter," Lala told to the Jakarta Globe during a media visit in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The film focuses on Sinta's journey of discovery into her mother's past and her own rediscovery of her roots while in Indonesia, her unfamiliar homeland.

Shah, who plays Sinta's fiancé Vikas, said the film touches on reflective emotional points, such as the purpose of life.

"It makes you wonder about existential crises, the purpose of life, and other things we usually wonder about," he said.

"It touches a lot of cultures in Indonesia, and it's mainly about family [affairs]. Because of that, we can relate it to our own daily lives," Lala added.

Dimas, who plays Panji, an archeologist Sinta meets during her stay in Magelang, Central Java, explained that the message of film is also about preserving Indonesia's cultural heritage. 

"The message [in the movie] is very good. Like that we must take care of our culture, because nowadays many people steal historical artifacts; they don't care about culture," he added.

Lala said the film makes her concerned about a loss of identity by Indonesian millennials, especially in the present age, with technological advancement allowing them to access information from anywhere in the world.

"Kids today can easily access information from outside Indonesia and make it part of their identity. At the end of the day, we must remember that we are Indonesians and we must preserve our culture and heritage," she said.

Four languages are used in the film – Indonesian, Javanese, English and Hindi.

"Kuambil Lagi Hatiku" contains awe-inspiring panoramic scenes, such as the beauty of the Taj Mahal in India and Borobudur Temple in Magelang, which according to Shah, shows that "there's unity in diversity in the movie."

Everyone involved in the film, including the scriptwriters, Arief Ash Shiddiq and Rino Sardjono, the director and the actors, conducted lots of research, Lala said.

"It's presented in a simple way, but the preparations were actually quite complex and took a lot of time," she revealed. Lala said she had to learn Hindi and Indian culture to deepen her character.

Shah also pointed out that one of the problems faced by the Indonesian film industry is the double standard moviegoers use to evaluate Hollywood and Indonesian films.

"If there's a film that makes you think a lot – Hollywood and Indonesian – both confuse you, but you will be impressed by the Hollywood movie, while you will bash the Indonesian one," the Indian-born actor said.

"Indonesia is very rich in culture and heritage and it's a must to put them out. It's very important to preserve filmmaking and integrate stories from this country, not from different countries," he added.

Ria who plays Widhi's sister in this drama-comedy, said she would not have accepted the role if the script was not interesting. Her statement was met by nods from the other cast members.

Lala said the film would feel like a homecoming of sorts. "After you play everything from the world outside Indonesia and then you watch this movie, you'll feel like you found home again," she said.