Screening “Solo, Solitude” (“Istirahatlah Kata-Kata”)

“With such a potent mix of melancholy and silent madness, Solo, Solitude… offers a poignant reflection of humanity drawn from the turbulent recent histories of Southeast Asia”

Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter

July 1996, riots break out in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. Wiji Thukul, a well-known poet, is designed as a suspect activist. With the police looking for him, Wiji is forced to leave Solo for Borneo, thousands of kilometers away. Now a fugitive, Wiji starts his exile in fear. Helped, protected and fed by activists along his journey, he ends up in a small town where slowly he finds a certain peace. But his mind and heart remains with his wife and children living under surveillance in Solo. Wiji can’t take it anymore. He wants to go home. What is life if you can’t be with the ones you love?


SOLO, SOLITUDE is a film based on the life of a major Indonesian poet, Wiji Thukul. Reading the poetry of Wiji Thukul is to read a daily journal of a simple house, rice, and bread they couldn’t afford, and the neighbors’ daily conversations. Wiji shows us that poetry could be constructed from daily toils, not just flowery words. Wiji serves all that in a very direct, almost naive, kind of poetry that is highly effective in capturing history and telling truth against power.

I see that Wiji Thukul still exists from the things that remained: the sharp gazes of his skeptical son; the strong voice of Wani, his first daughter, who to this day still writes poetry and believes in the power of her words; to the efforts of Sipon to remain independent by offering merchandise of her husband’s poems on it to keep the memory alive. I also see Wiji Thukul from his less known poems, not just the popular ones, as a way to understand Wiji thoroughly, Wiji as a contemplative soul.


This screening will be attended by Yosep Anggie Noen (Director), Amerta Kesuma (Associate Producer), and Wahyu Susilo (Wiji Thuku’s brother and social activist). Everyone who has bought the ticket can join the Q&A session after the screening.


Rizal: 0405587372 (

Raihana: 0403233775


You can get the ticket at


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