Letters from Prague (Surat dari Praha), directed by Angga Dwimas Sasongko, will represent Indonesia at the 89th Academy Awards for the foreign language film category.
The film starring Julie Estelle, Rio Dewanto, and Tio Pakusadewo centers on Indonesian political exiles residing in Prague, following the aborted coup attempt on Sept. 30, 1965.
Letters from Prague premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival, and went on to win the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor awards at the Usmar Ismail Awards .
Angga Dwimas Sasongko says, “Thanks to the national selection committee for choosing our film as Indonesia’s representative at the Oscars. This appreciation stemmed from the hard work and the trust exhibited by the different artists involved. The crucial element was the honesty marking its creation. The film received the Usmar Ismail Award and had its international premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival earlier this year. While it is our pride and joy, it is also important to view the film not only as a commodity but for its artistic value and its contribution to civilization.”
The film is about reconciliation between two generations, at the same time reveals the dark side of Indonesian history. Letters from Prague tells the story of an Indonesian named Jaya, who previously studied in Prague, but in 1965 lost his Indonesian citizenship. The reason was the suspicion that sympathized with the Communists. Jaya thereafter remained in the country, his life but currently turned upside visit young Indonesian women Larasati.
Larasati (Julie Estelle) has to fulfill the will of his mother, Sulastri (Widyawati), to deliver a box and a letter to Jaya (Tio Pakusadewo) in Prague. Raised in the middle of disharmonious family life, Larasati’s relationship with her mother was never really good. Jaya, her mother’s former fiance, failed to fulfill promises to return decades ago due to changes in the political situation.
Meeting with Jaya makes Larasati know the real problem. Jaya feels cornered and has to explain to her what he had sincerely given up. The story about the power of forgiveness and efforts to come to terms with the dark side of the past. Jaya with guilt and Larasati with true love.