Bunga Citra Lestari stars in "Jilbab Traveler". (Photo courtesy of Rapi FIlms)

Bunga Citra Lestari Inspires Muslim Women to Venture the World in 'Jilbab Traveler'


JULY 08, 2016

Jakarta. Actress Bunga Citra Lestari covers herself in a hijab to play a Muslim travel writer in "Jilbab Traveler: Love Sparks in Korea," the latest drama by Guntur Soeharjanto which opens nationwide in Wednesday.

Rania Samudra is a writer who is hugely inspired by Ibnu Battuta, a Muslim scholar who left his hometown in Morocco when he was 21-years-old and made his way through Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and China. Rania's father fully supported her passion in travel but when he passed away, Rania struggles to convince her family that she is safe doing what she likes to do. Her siblings just want to see her tie the knot with Ilhan (Giring Ganesha), but Rania wants to take her time.

In her travel to Baluran national park in East Java, Rania meets with a South Korean photographer Hyun Geun (Morgan Oey) and his best friend Alvin (Ringgo Agus Rahman). Hyun Geun likes her at the first sight, but Rania does not think he is the right man for her. When Rania receives a fellowship to study creative writing in South Korea for six weeks, she gets a chance to reignite the relationship.

Writer Asma Nadia, who wrote the novel the movie is based on, said she wanted to focus on family values in the story. She is also inspired by her friends, who wear hijab on daily basis but feel the need to take it off when they travel.

"I wanted to show to everyone that women in hijab can also travel the world. This movie is about a woman who is making her dream come true. She is financially poor and therefore does not have a degree, but she is brave and willing to go out there," she said.

Asma worked with scriptwriter Alim Sudio to turn her novel into the movie. The story is based on her true story with a real South Korean photographer with the same name, with added fictional background.

The author said she is glad with the movie's turnout, which features picturesque shots of South Korea in the winter.

"I wanted this movie to be a friendship project between Indonesia and South Korea," she said.

The movie is also starring Dewi Yull, Tasya Nur Medina, Indra Bekti, Ferry Ardiansyah, Aldila Jelita, Wawan Wanisar, Lee Won Joo, Shim Sang Yoon, Jonathan Na Kwang Hoon and Lim Kyung Ae. It is currently showing in cinemas.