Song For My Children

Shalahuddin Siregar


An elderly choir group brings back erased violent history by singing songs that were written in prison and have been silenced for more than 50 years.

More about Film

In 1965, there was mass killing, torture, rape and imprisonment of many Indonesians accused of being members of the communist party. This tragedy was never openly acknowledged by the Indonesian government.

The film is about an elderly choir group that uses the power of music and engages young audiences to pass down a forgotten history. Silenced for more than 50 years, some survivors of the 1965 tragedy are singing songs that were written in prison, and have long disappeared, to heal their trauma and to start the reconciliation process in a country once divided by political ideologies.

Dialita is a choir group with survivors and family of survivors as members. Most of them are over 50 years old. With the power of their songs, they want to provide an alternative narrative to the 1965 tragedy, especially with the young generation,  many of whom do not know about the tragedies in 1965. They also recorded an album to raise funds to help former political prisoners.

The songs they sing are joyful and are meant to lift one’s spirits. Each performance is an act of courage.

The film aims to educate as many young people as possible about 1965, when more than 500,000 people were imprisoned, disappeared, murdered and raped in an attempt to eliminate communism in Indonesia, and to recognise these atrocities as a national tragedy.


Good Pitch² Southeast Asia 2017


Shalahuddin Siregar
Shalahuddin Siregar
Director, Producer
Shalahuddin Siregar was selected as one of the participant of Doc Station Berlinale Talent 2009 and Tokyo Talent 2016. His first feature documentary project “The Land Beneath the Fog” travelledto some international film festival including Dok-Leipzig and won numerous awards, including Special Jury Prize from Dubai International Film Festival 2011. In 2013, Rolling Stones Indonesia magazine include ‘The Land Beneath the Fog’ as one of the best Indonesian films of the decade. Currently he is finishing his next documentaries: Song for My Children and A Boarding School.

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