Berlinale

Jermal

Synopsis
After his mother’s death, Jaya (12) is sent to his father, Johar, who works as a supervisor on a jermal (a fishing platform perched insecurely on log stilts in the middle of the sea). Never having known that he had a son, Johar is shocked and rejects the boy as his kin. Fully aware that he can’t bring Jaya back to land due to dark past, Johar is forced to accept the boy as a worker on the site. Faced with constant rejection from his father and relentless bullying by the other boys who work on the jermal, Jaya decides to take fate into his own hands. He gives the hope of being accepted and learns the skills and attitude he needs to survive on the jermal. Jaya increasingly becomes like the other boys: tough, rough – a survivor, while Johar is gradually forced to face and accept his past. Eventually, both Johar and Jaya learn that they are bound by their past, united by the space in which they move, and connected by the inescapable truth. In the beginning, they meet as strangers, in the end, they leave as father and son.


World premiere
Pusan International Film Festival 2008, A Window on Asian Cinema

Key festivals and awards
Pusan International Film Festival 2008
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2009

Indonesia, 2008
Director: Ravi Bharwani
Producers: ECCO Films Indonesia (Indonesia), RTC Media (Germany)
German WCF partner: RTC Media
World sales: Ecco Films (Indonesia)

Funded in the WCF Jury meeting of November 2007
Funding amount: 55.000 €

'Jermal'