Irah Bukay is a lecturer living a happy, normal life. It all changes when a coup happens in his country. This coup leads to a chaotic state of the nation, provokes differences among people. Amidst this chaos, emerges a myth that there is a solution to this nation’s problem. The first president, who founded this country, hid a treasure which is highly valuable; it can help to end all the country’s problems. Driven by his loss and discomfort to this condition, Irah Bukay embarks on a journey to find the treasure.
Irah joins various groups/sects which also hunt for the treasure. They use various methods, ranging from the most scientific research to some mystical approaches. Irah also visits some historical places in which the First President has ever been, hoping to find some clues.
The journey leads him to a mysterious village at which, according to the legend, the treasure is located. After living there for a quite long time, he unveils the secrets of the First President, his treasure, and the villagers who are actually animals-turned-into-humans.
The notions of the “Promised Land”, the Savior, “Peace of Our Time”, have become a universal message in various cultures around the world. These are beliefs having faith in the prophecy that when the world is at its lowest point and chaos, there will be a savior or turning point that will bring, once again, a golden age of human, the ideal world for human being. Many different cultures live with this philosophy. I am a Catholic, and this idea of Savior is no stranger to me.
I grew up in a very devoted Catholic family. I went to Catholic school, was an Altar Boy, and I even finished reading the Bible in junior high school. However, I experienced all new atmospheres in senior high school, even though it was a Catholic school as well. That was a whole new world for me. I got my first non-Catholic girlfriend; I met friends who did not believe in religion; I met friends who went to church just to get some girl to get laid on the night. This whole new condition had broadened my perspective on how exactly the world is spinning and what makes it spins.
This is also the time when I first read about the Hippies in the 60s. The first thing came into my mind is: let us revive this movement! I was inspired by them and realized that there is a spirit within human soul to end all the differences we have as human, to simply love each other. What could go wrong with that idea?
This film is based on some philosophies mentioned above. My question is: why do we human always need those ‘ideal’ notions? From my perspective, it is because human/society can not help themselves out of a fucked-up condition which they created upon themselves. That is when they crave for help, seek for savior to release them from the pain, to guide them to an ideal world where their ancestors have never been before.
The hippies and other movements had tried to change the world to their ideal. Some are successful, most of them had failed. However, there is a beautiful grace in every effort done by human when they are trying to make this world better.
Therefore, are those utopian ideas simply an empty dream? That is what I am trying to find in this film. As John Lennon said in Imagine, this film tries to find out how determined a man (and myself) to achieve the ideals, a world that I believe, can still be made.
Henricus Pria is currently working with Studio Batu as a writer and director.
Aditya Murti is a producer in Studio Batu, currently trying to hone his skills in Miles Film.
Studio Batu is a multi-discipline arts collective in Yogyakarta. Film is the bowl to mix them all.