Indonesia 2008, Feature film, 90' | Director, Screenplay Ravi Bharwani, Rayya Makarim, Orlow Seunke | DoP Claire Pijman | Editor Orlow Seunke | Sound Handi Ilfat Ibrahim, Satrio Budiono | Music Thoersi Argeswara, Ramadani | Cast Iqbal S. Manurun, Didi Petet, Yayu A.W. Unru, Chairil A. Dalimunthe, M. Rifai Andhika Piliang, Febri Hansah Pulungan, Ribut Waluyo Ritonga, Rudi Hartono, Sugeng Jeni Sampurno | Production ECCO Films Indonesia

After the death of his mother, 12-year-old Jaya is sent to his father, who he doesn't even know. He works as a supervisor on a jermal - a fishing platform on stakes, in the middle of the sea. Although child labour is also banned in Indonesia, many children work here under extremely harsh conditions.

Jokhar, who didn't even know that he had a son, is not initially interested in Jaya. He leaves him to the gang of eight other boys, who all cheat each other in their struggle to survive. Constantly rejected by his father and tortured ever more brutally by the other boys, Jaya finally takes his fate into his own hands. And at some point Jokhar also realises that he has to face up to his past and to his son.

Child labour, struggling for paternal acknowledgment, isolation and the everyday fight for survival are portrayed in a film of powerful images and few words. Despite the harshness of the story, Jermal eventually manages to achieve a perspective full of hope.


RAVI BHARWANI graduated in 1990 from the Cinematography Department of the Film and Television faculty of the Jakarta Art Institute. Since then, he has worked on a large number of commercials, documentaries, shorts and television films. Most of his documentations are involved with the lives of children in isolated regions of the country. Rayya Makarim has worked since 1998 as a scriptwriter. Since her first film, the TV film Mencari Pelangi (In Search of the Rainbow, 1998), which won the award for best screenplay among other things at the Indonesian Film and TV Festival, Rayya Makarim has worked on five other films. Jermal is the first cinema film that she has also directed. Orlow Seunke was born in Amsterdam in 1952. His film debut The Taste of Water won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival in 1982. Since 1989, he has been teaching regularly at the Jakarta Art Institute. He has lived in Jakarta since 2002, where he was temporarily in charge of the international film festival.

Ravi Bharwani, Rayya Makarim, Orlow Seunke
Feature Film
School Film