Tilte : The Silence on The Waves

Director : Rachmat Hidayat Mustamin

Contact: +6285399983138


A man named Harung (24 years old) who was accidentally found by Topan (27 years old), a filmmaker, and he asked him to become a character in his film. Topan followed Harun’s daily life with his camera. Harung stayed with his mother (59 years old), after his father had never returned from Malaysia since his departure in 2005. Every day, Harung worked as a seller of tombstones owned by Mare (64 years old). Mare owns a land that he did not want to give to the government for the Trans Sulawesi Railway Project at any price because it is a land in which his wife and daughter are buried. Harung helped Topan to complete the film with two conditions:

  1. Harung would be accompanied when he went to the town, meeting his girlfriend who worked at the cellphone counter;
  2. Harung asked to be buried wearing army uniform, like his dream when he was a child.

One day, Harung found the news that his father had died in Malaysia and left a new wife and two children. His father’s new wife asked Harung and his mother to go there, but Harung refused. Harung wanted to live as a fictional character forever.


South Sulawesi government since 2015 has held the Trans Sulawesi railroad project from Makassar to Parepare to facilitate transportation for the society. Some railroads had been made and installed in many regions like in Barru. However, problems arose when some people in Pangkep and in Maros, were not willing to give their land for railroad lines contruction. South Sulawesi government has tried to conduct negotiations several times, appealing and socializing to the society but they still could not get a good agreement. A mysterious group attacked and threatened the locals. Their motive was allegedly because the residents did not want to do land acquisition. People thought that the attack came from the government. There were also locals who have not been paid psychologically for their land, but have been used for the railway construction. Therefore, the impact was finally apathetic to neither the programs of city government nor South Sulawesi government in terms of construction and manufacture of Trans Sulawesi railway.

Imagination is the power of thought in imagining (in wishful thinking) or creating images (paintings, essays, etc.) of events based on reality or one’s experience in general. The imagination of Indonesian children, especially in South Sulawesi is always faced with a dream of train. In the 1960s, Saridjah Niung Bintang Soedibio, or known as Ibu Soed, with AT. Mahmud created the song “Kereta Apiku”, which was then often played through the Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) station (Railfans, 2015).

Children in South Sulawesi grew up with the song “Kereta Api”, even though they had never seen a train at all. Trains could only be watched through television, or other media; like pictures from newspapers or magazines. But now, with technology development, cellphones are able to access and order train tickets through their minimalist screens. But it did not make the people in South Sulawesi feel their body entering the train journey.

This imagination caused many speculations about feelings and memories about train and a journey.
The imagination construction of trains for the people in South Sulawesi or eastern Indonesia, is aware or not, has shaped how they think and behave. People who have never touched or took the train, could travel in their imagination only. They travel only by remembering, thinking, or just dreaming. This imagination can be released outside and inside the train.


RACHMAT HIDAYAT MUSTAMIN is a film director and poet-writer. He graduated at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Currently continuing his postgraduate education at the Indonesia Institute of Arts (ISI) Surakarta in the field of film. He is a contributor to Imitation Film Project and Kinotika, a community organizing workshop, exhibition, literacy and film appreciation based in Makassar.

His poetry is incorporated in the anthology of poetry of Benang Ingatan (2016), Origins: The Bilingual Anthology of Indonesian Writing (2017) and Hujan Bakawali Di Rumah Tuhan (Rainbows at the House of God) (2018). His up-to-date books are Merelakan Diri Terbakar (2017) and Kesibukan Mencatat Bayangan Di Dalam Rumah (2017). Several recent activities, he was invited to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017 and Borobudur Writers and Cultural Festival 2017. At the end of January 2018, he participated in 2nd Arkipel Academy in Puncak, Bogor. In 2018, he was invited to the Makassar International Writers Festival 2018 and Festival Forum at ARKIPEL – Jakarta International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival 2018.