Out of the hotbed of new talent emerging from the Indonesian film industry comes JERMAL, a festival favorite that's a thoughtful portrayal of the relationship between a father and son with a unique twist on the setting - the film takes place on an isolated fishing platform, or jermal, in the middle of the Malacca Straits off North Sumatra. After his mother's death, 12 year-old Jaya is sent to his father, Johar, who works as a supervisor on a jermal. However, the knowledge of a son is news to him and Johar rejects the boy as his kin. Fully aware he can't bring Jaya back to land due to a dark past, he's forced to utilize his son on the jermal. Faced with constant rejection from his father and relentless bullying by the other boys, Jaya gives up hope on being accepted and learns the skills and attitude needed to survive in the hard-scrabble environment of the jermal. Eventually, both father and son learn that they are bound by their past, united by the space in which they move, and connected by the inescapable truth. Capturing the pain and struggle of outsiders trying to be accepted, JERMAL - ultimately a story of survival -- follows in the compelling footsteps of films such as Slumdog Millionaire and City of God.
Ravi L. Bharwani, Rayya Makarim, Orlow Seunke