Kartini (2017) - full transcript

This is a story about the most famous Indonesian heroine, Kartini. In the early 1900s, Indonesia was still a colony of the Netherlands, Java is a land where noble families rule under Dutch supervision. Only noble and royal family were able to get education. Women weren't allowed to get higher education, even for women of royal blood. Women in the Javanese culture only had one purpose - to be a bride for a man with royal blood. Kartini grew up to fight this caste system, fight for equality for women, and most importantly she fought for the right for everyone to get an education regardless of their social status or gender. This is an emotional journey of Kartini where she had to defy her own family, her own culture and she had to fight to change in rules and traditions that were considered sacred in Java.

Are you sure about your decision?

Do I have a choice?

My child...

Trinil, rise my child...

Come, sit next to me.

It's time for you to become

a distinguished lady.

Your mother and I
have waited for 16 years.

What do you think?

Are you ready?



-Come on now, come on!

Don't be stubborn!

Mom, help!

Do not call her Mom! Call her Maid!

No way!

She is not a maid, she is our mother.

You are now the daughter of a regent.

A princess...

Go sleep in the main house!
Not in maids' room.

Busono! Pull her up!

Mom, please help me!

She bit me.

What's going on here?

Let's go, Grandma.

She wants to sleep
with the maid again, Father.

Mrs. Ngasirah is not a maid!

She is our mother!

I want to sleep with my mom, Dad.

Tell our daughter, Kartini.

This is the last time
she sleeps in your room.

Yes, My Lord.

I just want to sleep with you, Mom.

Yes, My Lady.

Mom, please don't call me Lady.


Please, listen to me.

You have to call me the maid.

And I have to call you My Lady.

I also refer to your sister Kardinah

as Lady Kardinah.

That's the rule now.

I don't want to.

I want to go back to our old home
in Mayong.

Do you want to see me happy, my child?

This is the only way I know,

so you and your siblings
could have a respectable life.

Like Lady Moeryam.

No, Mom.

I don't want to be a Lady.

But you have to.

-So you can get a proper education.
-I don't want to.

I just want to learn from you.

I can't read and write Dutch.

Please, listen to me.

Starting tomorrow,

no more lullabies.

You have to sleep with
your step sister, Lady Soelastri.

In the late 1800s, Japara was led
by a regent from noble family

who married a noble woman
who was called Raden Ayu.

The daughters of a regent,
whether born to a noble wife or not,

are required to become Raden Ayu

In order to become a Raden Ayu...

a girl must be secluded from the start
of her first menstrual cycle

until a nobleman comes to marry her,

making her his first,
second, or even third wife.

Let's try this. One...




Keep going.

Take your time.

Don't rush it.

Take your time.

Smile, Ni! Smile!

Kneel, Princess.

Knees down.

Now, stop.

Look at me...

Like this.

Retreat your feet this way.

Like this.

What is this, Sis?

Your body is your most prized possession.

You should always take care of it.

Our bodies will lead us to our destiny.

Your fingers are lovely.

You are also beautiful and graceful.

Princess Kartini is falling asleep.

It's a bit cold but refreshing.

What are you doing?

I have a present for you.

If you can stop me
from having to become Raden Ayu,

that would be the best present of all.

If wishes could be given as presents,

then there would be no women
like Pandita Ramabai.


She does not have to endure seclusion
like me.

The body will perish and turn into ashes.

But your mind

is not bound by time.



I don't want to!


Sit down!

Sit down!

Do you want to escape from your seclusion?

Do you?

Go to my room.

There's a door...

that will help you escape your seclusion.

All right.


Don't let your mind be caged.

I'll wait for you in the Netherlands.


Hilda Van Suylenberg
written by Cecile Goekoop-de Jong

Your Honor.

Do you have any children?


I want you to picture your children

while you hear my story

about this woman and her child.

That is Hilda Van Suylenberg.

A fictional character from my novel.

She's a lawyer

and an activist
for the poor and for women's rights.

Very intelligent and respected.

I'm Cecile de Jong.

What's wrong, Kartini?

She's so intelligent.

She must be highly educated.


And she is also a wife
and a mother to a child.

She's married?

What would happen
to these four little kids?

Don't have that burden on your conscience.

That is why I ask you: let her go.

To my dear brother Sosrokartono
in the Netherlands,

thank you for your precious gift.

You're right.

There's nothing more valuable
than liberating your mind.

Our bodies may be imprisoned,

but our mind and soul must fly free.

Not too long from now,

Lady Kartini will be the one
sitting there.


Lady Kardinah as well.


Once you give up your soul,

you will lose yourself forever.

I will never give my soul to anyone.

It will bear witness to all the pain
and happiness that my future holds.

"My dear little sister Trinil,

I'm happy to hear you're doing well."

And I'm pleased

that you have found your freedom.

All thanks to you.

I would not have given it to you
if you hadn't asked.

You're the only one who understands me.


What you have right now

will have no meaning
if you keep it to yourself.

You have to share it with others.

Change does not happen on its own.

Got it?

Yes, brother.

It's time.

Your little sisters enter
the seclusion chamber.

Yes, Mother.

Go on. Go inside.

Since our older brothers and sister
are married,

I'm now in charge.

Do you get what I'm saying?

Who should you obey?

We understand, sister.

But to hold my arms up like this
for this long,

it makes me sore, sister.

What did you say?


Yes, that's it.

You will feel sore all the time.

Being a lady

implies that you have to serve

a man that your heart does not choose.

Are you okay with that?

Isn't there another option, sister?

Sadly, no.

However, we could try to be
a different kind of Raden Ayu.

Put your hands down.

Now, get up.

Come here.

Look at that!

Look at it!

This door

is the gateway
between us and the rest of the world.

This room

is the only place in Japara

where we can be ourselves.

You can laugh as hard as you want.

Smile as much as you can.

Try laughing like me.

Yes, that's it.


Pardon me, sister.

Don't call me sister.


Do not call me sister!

You don't need to be polite.

You don't need to use
proper language with me.

Just call me Kartini.




It's time for us

to be ourselves.

Now, this.

Read it!

These are very good books.

Read it!

Read it.

If a woman is an excellent cook,

the husband will be pleased to stay home.

When I cook,

I cook for myself,

and my loved ones.

When My Lady finds a husband,

I'm sure you will love him.

If the suitor is still single,

never been married before,

and supports my dreams,

I will love him for sure.

Pardon me.

My Lord has ordered me

to serve the guests their meals.

There are three of them. They're Dutch.

Yes. Certainly.


Who are they?

Headmaster Baron Van Dietmar.

And the new Resident Assistant of Japara,

Mr. Ovink-Soer and his wife.


Do you know who he is?

How is your daughter, Baron?

She now studies
in a school for teachers in France.

That is her dream
since she was in school with Kartini.

How about Kartini?

Where does she study now?

She is still in seclusion.


You lock your daughters up at home?

My father does not really
lock us up at home!

We can still play and read.

What happened?

How come Lady Kartini

is serving the meals and not you?

She suddenly grabbed my tray.

I couldn't do anything.

How could she grab it?

I'm the one who'll be blamed for this,
don't you see?

Don't let it happen again!

Yes, sir.

Lady Kartini was one of the best students
in my school.

At the age of ten,

she wrote an essay about Pandita Ramabai.

At ten years old.

May I read the essay?

I am honored...

that the woman who wrote "Modern Woman"

for "De Hollandsche Lelie" magazine

wants to read my essay.

You read the "De Hollandsche Lelie"?

Your article inspires me, Madame.

May I invite your daughter to my house?

Lord Sosroningrat has just told us
that Lady Kartini

is still in seclusion.

We should respect their traditions.

Forgive us, My Lord.

Pardon me, my dear.

Are you sure it's okay
to take our daughters out of seclusion?

They are indeed still secluded.

However, I'm giving them some leniency.

No need to worry.

Trinil, Roekmini, Kardinah. Let's go.

You made this?

Yes, ma'am.

It's beautiful.

What is that?


That's right, ma'am.

That's my work.


You girls amaze me.

You are unified like Het Klaverblad.

Het Klaverblad?

Yes. The Clover Leaf.

Ma'am, please teach me
how to be a writer like you.

You're already an excellent writer,
my dear.

I wish to have my writings published.

We can make that happen.

I have a couple of friends who are editors
of magazines and newspapers.

Don't you worry...

I will help you.

This journal is for you.

Look at how

they pour their ideas into words.

Thank you, ma'am.




Why not ask my brother
Lord Ario Hadiningrat to write an article?

He's a well-educated Regent of Demak.

Your brother had written an article

in the previous edition.

Now, it's your turn.

I would very much like Japara

to get some recognition this year.

Give me some time to think.

Would you like to read this article?


Did you write this, Madame?

No, your daughter did.

Lady Kartini.

Mr. Sosroningrat,

what if we send your daughter's article

to the Dutch Language
and Anthropology Institute?

I agree.

With Kartini's permission,

the article could be published
under your name.

Pardon me, Father.

It's not that I don't want to.

It's just that...

Father, are you sure

that my writings

are as good as
Uncle Hadiningrat's writings?

My child,

let others be the judge of your writing.

Actually, I wanted to ask your permission

to publish it under my name.

What do you think?

Is that okay?


-Thank you.
-You're welcome.

The Marriage of Kodja Tribe

Written by RM. Adipati Ario Sosroningrat,
Regent of Japara.

Don't rush it!

Move it over here.

Trinil, tell them where you want the desk.

Yes, Father.

Over here, sir.

Sister, these are the books
that brother Kartono sent us.



Is the tempeh ready, Nil?


We just need to wrap it.

Make sure it is enough.

Who are you cooking this for?

Brother Slamet, Brother Busono.


For Madame Ovink-Soer, dear brother.


I told you the rumors were true.

I've warned you.

Trinil, use this to wrap it up.

Oh, God.

Father, Busono and I ask your permission

to help you take care of our sisters.

I'm waiting for the recommendation letter

from Mr. Sitjhoff
for me to become regent.

Very well, then.

Let's drink.

Please open the gate, sir.

Hold it! Keep it closed!

What's wrong?

Pardon me, My Lady.

Lord Slamet forbids you
from leaving the house.

I want to deliver my article.

It is going to be published tomorrow.

To Mrs. Ter Horst's house.

Let me deliver it, My Lady.

Never mind.

Now, please turn back immediately.

Burn it!

Don't let other aristocrats know

that the daughter of Lord Sosroningrat
is a radical thinker.


We can't let this happen.

We can't just keep quiet about it.

What should we do?

I need to get in touch
with Madame Ovink-Soer.

But how?

Come on.

Come here, kid.

Let me tell you something.

Pretend that you are delivering
Mrs. Ovink-Soer's favorite food.

But the important thing is

you have to give this letter to her, okay?

Yes, sister.

My Lord.

Where are you going, master?

To deliver this.

Where to?

To Mrs. Ovink-Soer's house.

Let me deliver it.

That's not your concern.

Do not interfere!

What is wrong with you?

Now go on back home.

This is bad!

We are doomed.

Excuse me, Madam.

Excuse me, Madam.

Pardon me, Madam.

There is a gift for you from Lady Kartini.

Thank you.

Just a second.

I will return the bowl.

Yes, Madam.

Please help me, Madame.
My brother has locked us up.

Try to find the earring

The earring is hidden somewhere

The one who laughs is the one who has it

Keep passing it back and forth

It must be with Lady Roekmini.


Oh, no. I got it wrong.


Try to find the earring

The earring is hidden somewhere

The one who laughs is the one who has it

Keep passing it back and forth

It's with Lady Kardinah.


Wrong again.

What do we do?

Stay calm.

Welcome to Semarang, my dear.

Thank you, Madame.

I will not let anyone

keep you locked up.

Welcome to Semarang, Lord Sosroningrat.

Thank you.

May I take your daughter

to meet Lord Residence Sitjhoff.

Of course, please do.

Aren't they Lord Sosroningrat's daughters?

Mr. Sitjhoff...

Look who's here.


You look so different...

from back when I was
an assistant resident here.

Thank you, Uncle Piet.

There are still men who don't understand

that an unwrapped cigar is worthless.

Kartini, I have read all of your articles.

Hello, Mr. Regent.

Greetings, Sir. I'm Lord Slamet.

If you have a moment

I would love to have a word with you.


Kartini, to me you are the jewel of Java.

You speak too highly of me, Uncle.

Come on.
A genuine compliment does no harm.

I bet one of them is Clover Leaf.

Good evening, everyone.

Good evening.


Please come.

I feel the need

to show you all something.

Thank you.

Let me introduce you

to the brilliant daughters
of Japara's Regent,

Lady Kartini,

Lady Kardinah,

and Lady Roekmini.

Let's toast!


So Kartini wrote about
the art of carving in Japara?

Yes, and also Japara's art
of batik and engraving.

Your daughter is talented
and has willpower.

All of her writings will be
exhibited in Den Haag,

in celebration
of Queen Wilhelmina's coronation.

And you will be the ones
getting the recognition, right?

Well, sir, if only that were true.

I desperately need Kartini.


I guarantee her future

as well as the future of your sons

Slamet and Busono as regents.

So this is the pattern

you wish to engrave?

Yes, Father.

And you think that would sell
in the Netherlands?

Porcelain, china, European suits
are more in demand, I'm sure.

Those engravers are stupid.

They can't even speak Dutch.

Not being able to speak Dutch

doesn't make them stupid.

They're still a disgrace.

Pardon me, My Lady.

I'm just a peasant.

There's not much demand for engravers.

I'm afraid to engrave a motif of wayang.

Mr. Singowiryo,
these patterns are beautiful

and unique.

If we create a demand for engraved art
it could benefit your village, sir.

I fear the curse

of God.


I will take on the curse then.

I will take it.

Patience, my child.

-Yes, my Lord.

Consider her request as my own.

No, Father.

Don't worry.

Don't do that, Father.

Shut up!

Whoever is against Kartini

might as well be considered
to be against me, understood?

Understood, My Lord.


Please have a look.

Here are some motif options.

I will make sure that the artworks

arrive safely in the Netherlands
as your brother requested.

Thank you, please give my regards
to Brother Kartono.

Will do.

Roekmini, this is Nellie van Zuylen-Tromp.

How do you do?

Fine, thank you.

She's from the gallery.

Oh, my God.

Wayang's motifs again?

Don't be afraid.

This is beautiful.

Please make two of each.

I will send this one to the Netherlands.

And the other one is for me.

Come in.

Come in and close the door.

Pardon me, my Lady.

What can I do for you?

Do you know why I called you here today?

I believe so.

It must be about my daughters
Lady Kartini and Lady Kardinah.

I just wanted you to know that,

starting from now,

I'm going to be more strict
with your daughters.

Understood, My Lady.

If it's for the good
of all of our daughters,

then I agree, My Lady.

The truth is, Lord Slamet has tried to
interfere in his sisters' lives

This wouldn't have happened

if their father were firmer
with the children.

Your reasons make perfect sense.

But I can also see

that you hoped I wouldn't be so hard
on your children.

It is my belief

that every mother
wants what's best for her children.

Pardon me, My Lady.

If you could just be a bit more patient,

you will see that
we both want the same things.

Lady Kartini!

Stop the carriage.

What can I do for you, dear?

Pardon me, My Lady.

We're from Ukirsari.

We have been waiting to give you these.

Ukirsari? That's the village
behind the mountains, right?

You walked that far?


Have you eaten yet?

We have, My Lady.

Our father receives a lot of requests
every day for engraved art.

We're now able to afford our meals.

Thanks to you.

You're welcome.

Thank you too, dear.

What is this?

Now, I'm sure that women
don't need to be married.


I don't wanna get married, either.

We can help so many people
even without a husband to support us.


What's that, Trinil?

Look at this.

Me first.

It's an ad for correspondence
in the Netherlands.

What do you think?

Here, take a look.

What is it for?

To widen our network of friends.

What do you think?

I'm going to ask Madame Ter Horst
to publish this.

Isn't it great?


Look at it, it's so beautiful.

Thank you, My Lady,
for letting me taking your pictures.

Are you trying to create a sensation

by asking us to wear kimonos, Mr. Damin?


-Look at this.
-What is it?

A letter from Stella Zehandelaar
in Den Haag.

Who's that?

I don't know. Just read it!

It's the ad you posted last month.

Someone's replied.


Excuse me, My Lady. Are we ready?

Lady Kardinah, please sit on the floor.

Please move in closer.

Do you want us to pose?

Whatever you like, My Lady.





Hello, Kartini.


Are you a feminist, Stella?

Yes, among other things.

I believe that men and women
should have equal rights.

Where I come from,

women are tied down by restrictions.

We are not given equal opportunity

to seek modern education,
like in your country.

We are like prisoners.

I often read about women in colonial lands
in these situations.

However, I was under the impression

that they resigned themselves
to their fate.

You have changed my views, Kartini.

I would love to someday
be able to say that we,

the women of Java,
have equal rights as men,

like in your country.

Hopefully this friendship will help me

better understand your situation.

Maybe I could be the instrument

that shares your stories.

Thank you, Stella.

How old were you when you got married?

Fourteen years old, My Lady.

Is this your child?

No, My Lady.

This is my granddaughter.

That's my daughter.

And you, at what age did you get married?

Twelve years old.

Do you know

what goes on in the mind
of Javanese women, sir?

We are groomed

for the sole purpose of serving as a wife.

No matter what number of wife we became.


is the only way

to liberate them.

Please set the board over there.

Mr. Atmo, come here, please.

Mr. Atmo, please bring me some chalk.

Please come...

Don't be shy...

Please come. Don't be shy.

Please sit down. Let's learn together.

Today we will learn the Dutch alphabet.

The Dutch alphabet starts with A...

This is capital "A"
and this is "A" in lowercase.

Please read it... A...

Write it down on your slates...

Uncle Hadiningrat and his family.

What are they doing here?

Yes, it's highly unusual.

Welcome, little brother.

Thank you.



Uncle Hadiningrat and his family are here.
Do you know why?

Really? Where?

Why are they here?


What do they want?

I was wondering
if you remember Dimas Ario Reksonegoro?

-Dimas Ario Reksonegoro?

Of course,
he's the Regent of Tegal, right?


It just so happens that Lord Dimas
would like to visit you here.

Of course, it would be a pleasure.

Please enjoy your tea.

Here he is now.

We were just talking about you.

Who are they, Trinil?

I have no idea.


You remember my son? Haryono.

Yes, of course.

Haryono, what a surprise.

Haryono, you're all grown up.

How are you?

I'm good, Uncle.

I have been appointed
as Regent's Assistant in Pemalang.


Soon you will be Regent.


Let's go.

Yes, let's go.

He's here with his wife.

Pretty girl. Handsome boy.

Do you still remember
the promise you made to Dimas Ario

before Kardinah went into seclusion?

In the name of Allah,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

In the name of Allah,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah,

the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.

The Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

The Most Gracious.

The Most Merciful.

The Master of the Judgement Day.

Sister, let's go back to our room.

I have a bad feeling.

Hold on a moment.

I want to hear this.

Every verse has a wonderful meaning.

Guide us to the right path.

The path of those upon whom
You have bestowed favor,

not of those who have evoked your anger
or of those who are astray.


who is this pious man?

That's Kyai Soleh Darat, from Awur Bay.

Your uncle brought him here.



Pardon me, Kyai.

Is that the true meaning

of Al Fatiha verse?

The truth only belongs to God, My Lady.

I only try to teach what I know.

Is there any verse

in the Qur'an that teaches us
about knowledge?

Read in the name of God who creates.

Read in the name of God who creates.

That's the first verse
that came down to earth from God.

That verse asks Prophet Muhammad
to read and learn.

Is there any explanation in that verse

that only men should read and learn?

All of mankind, men and women,
should read and learn.


why don't you translate the Qur'an
into Javanese

and publish it as a book?

I've been doing it, My Lady.

But, unfortunately,

many Muslims
prefer reading the Qur'an in Arabic

without understanding the meaning of it.

I really hope you finish
the translation of the Qur'an soon, Kyai.

I want to learn the true meaning
of the Qur'an.

If Allah wills.

I will try my best, My Lady.

Peace be with you.

Peace be with you too, Kyai.

This is a letter
from the Regent of Pemalang.

Pardon me, Father.

Pardon me, Father.

My child, Kardinah.

Your future husband

will soon be appointed
as the Regent of Pemalang.

He's a good man.

But he already has a wife, Father.

I understand, my child.

But you were betrothed
long before you entered seclusion.

I cannot break my promise.

As a nobleman,

I can't go back on my word.

Come, my child.

Why, Father? Why?

Sister, wait..

Just let me die!

Please, don't say that.

I'd rather die.

Calm down, my dear.

They did this on purpose to ruin us.

We need to be strong, my dear,

whatever the obstacles.

I am never going to marry.

You are my witness!

I will never marry anyone.

They did this on purpose.

Roekmini, leave the room.


Pardon me, Mother.

But why?

It's none of your business.

What you need to know is
I have more power over Roekmini than you.

I beg your forgiveness.

Remember this.

No matter how high the Dutch praise you,

I will always outrank you in this house.

Forgive me, Mother.

Yu Ngasirah, pack Roekmini's things.

Sister, help me!

Please, no.

Mother, no.

Please, don't do it, Yu.

The keys.

Yu, please. No.

Forgive me, My Lady.

Please forgive me.


Please take me to your country, Stella.

What is wrong?

Why are you crying?

I have lost hope.

What can I do for you?

Just take me to your country, Stella.


Take me away from my country.

Welcome, Lord van Koll.

-Happy to see you, sir.

I'm here to deliver a message from Stella.

Where is your daughter?

My daughter?

Please, Madame.

No need to worry.

I'll take care all of the expenses.

Right after my business trip in Java,

I'll stop by Japara
to pick up your daughter's proposal.

That's not what bothers me, Mr. Van Koll.

I'll be sneered at by other regents.

And also...

I'll lose my daughters.

They have promoted the engraving industry

right here in your region.

Think about the future.

Once they return from the Netherlands
with their education,

your daughters will change the world.

I'll do my best for you
in the Netherlands.

Thank you, Madam.

Please, My Lord.

Don't let Kartini go to the Netherlands.

Please, Mother!


Please, Mother...


I want to get an education, too.

Not just get married.

I'm still gonna be a Raden Ayu
just as you wish.

I just want to get an education,
like Kartini.

Listen to me.

I have tried to hold
my feelings in all this time.

I have suffered a marriage without love

just to protect the family's dignity.

So that I could be Raden Ayu.

What those westerners do for you

won't compare to the sacrifices
I have made for you.

I, Kartini, request a scholarship
to study in the Netherlands.


Yes, Father...

I approve your proposal.

Thank you, Father.

Take care of yourself in the Netherlands.

I will, Father.


If you approve Kartini's proposal,

you'll be going against our culture.

Is it because Kartini a woman?

That's not what I mean, brother.

Your daughters have broken the tradition.

They are hiding
under the alias "Clover Leaf"

and they keep mocking our ancestors.


A change will come.

I believe it.

We should embrace it

and evaluate ourselves.

If you let this happen,

if you allow girls to be educated,

pretty soon they'll ask to be Regents.

And then the peasants will follow.

Some day in the future,

this will definitely happen.

When a carpenter's daughter
wants to be queen,

it will be a mess!

Change is bound to come.

It's only a matter of who starts it.

If you don't want to start it,

don't use my daughters as an excuse.

That's cowardice.

I see. It's clear to me now.

It's clear to me now, brother,

that you are drawing your sword

against us on purpose.

Yu, is my husband up yet?

Not yet, My Lady.

Not yet?

My dear.

My dear.

Yu, call Atmo immediately!

My dear.



Can we talk outside?

There's a severe clog in his arteries

and that has caused damage to his brain.

He must not take any stress.

Good afternoon.

Roekmini, come with me.

What should I be grateful for

in a man who has three wives already?

You should be grateful he's a regent,
not just a district head.

I'll wait for news about my proposal
from the Netherlands.

Don't count on it. It's not a sure thing.

They're probably gonna reject it.

But your marriage proposal

must be answered in three days.

You should have--

I will not disappoint my father.

Pardon me, Mother.

Kartini, get back here.

Wait, Mother.

Pardon me.

Let me talk some sense into her.

You could ask Father
to cancel the proposal.

I don't intend to do that.

I see what the problem is here.

You're just thinking about yourself.

You'll stay here until the Regent
of Rembang comes to pick you up.

Mr. Atmo!

I'm going to Pati to get some medicine.

Atmo, take care of the house.

Yes, My Lady.

Come on.

What's the matter, Yu?

Call me Mother.

We're not in the Regent's house anymore.

Yes, Mother.

I want you to understand something.

Yes, Mother.

Whatever I did,

I did it for the sake of my children.


My son, if you don't become the Regent,

someone else will take over.

What if he turns out to be a bad leader?

Think about our people.

I can't, Father.


You have to marry Lady Moeryam.

This is for the greater good.

I cannot betray my wife, Father.

Ngasirah will be devastated.

I am willing, my dear.


But I am not willing.

This is for the sake
of our children's future.

No, I won't! I can't do that to you!

We have to accept our fate.

What are you doing here?

My Lord summoned me.

Come in.

I want to be
with Ngasirah tonight, my dear.

What have you learnt
from the Dutch language?

Freedom, Mother.

And what's missing from their language?

I have no idea.


Now you are going to write
your name, Trinil.

It contains three syllables
that spell out "Trinil."

"Ta no lo" that spells out Trinil.

Put a circle in "Ta"

and a dot, and now it spells "Tri."

Put a dot on "No" and it spells "Ni."

While "Lo..."

needs a suffix.

To spell "R," right?

Yes, it needs a suffix.

So, together, they spell "Trinil."

When a someone is blessed with a baby,

their heart is at peace

and there is balance.

Even though the Dutch are smart enough
to conquer the world,

they'll never understand
the meaning of devotion.

For all these years,

I accepted that I had to be separated
from my children,

because that's what life asked of me,

as part of my devotion to your father

and to all the children I gave birth to.

My hope now

is that my children can be educated

and be more valuable than me.

Be strong, my child.


Are you ready to be Raden Ayu?

I am...


I accept the marriage proposal
of Rembang's Regent.


I have my terms.

What now?

Hold on.

Go on, my child.


I am not willing to wash his feet.


I don't want to follow the complicated
rules of etiquette as a regent's wife.

I want to be treated
like a normal human being.



You only think about yourself!

I will not let your terms be fulfilled.


She's right, Mother.

My husband remarried.

I know why he did it.

He prefers his new, young wife
because she is smarter than I am.

And more educated.

But I can't take it anymore.

Kartini is right, Mother.

Please, Kartini. Continue.

Continue. I support you.


I need my future husband

to help me build a school

for women and the poor.

Are you done?

Is that it?

One more, Father.

I want Yu Ngasirah

to stop living in the outhouse.

She must live in the main house
with the rest of us.

And I want all of us to address her

as "Mother."

Not "Yu."

Very well, then.


Have these terms written down

and arrange them
with the Regent of Rembang.

Busono, call Atmo.

Yes, Father.

Pardon me, Father.

Let me write the letter
on behalf of Kartini.

I am the eldest son, after all.

As the oldest, it is my duty
to ensure my siblings are protected.

Open the gate!

This is "A," "B,"

"C," "D..."

What is it?

Pardon me, My Lady.

Rembang's Regent is here.

Is it true?

Are those are your terms for marriage?

Pardon me.

It is true, My Lord.

But if you disagree with those terms,

then please don't let this be a problem

that could cause conflict
between our families.

Pardon me...

Pardon me, my Lord.

I find Kartini's concern amusing.

But that's all right.

That's all right, my Lord.

Because she doesn't know me yet.

I'm here today
in order to discuss certain matters

that cannot be discussed through letters.

Pardon me, my Lord.

My wife collected those.

She admired you a lot.

She always wanted
to take our children to meet you.

But she fell ill
and passed away before she could do that.

My condolences, My Lord.

Before she passed away,

her dying wish

was that she wanted the children

to be brought up by a smart
and brave woman like you.

I accept your terms.

I will help you fulfill your dreams.

What do you say, My Lady?

Pardon me, Father.

Goodbye, Mother.

I bid you goodbye Mother.

I am going to become Raden Ayu.

One, two, three.

Three days after accepting
the marriage proposal,

the scholarship to the Netherlands
was granted.

The scholarship was later passed on
to Haji Agus Salim from Padang.

Even when the scholarship was cancelled,
Kartini succeeded to establish

a school for women in Rembang
with the support of her husband.

Her letters to her friend
in the Netherlands

have been published as books and continue
to inspire Indonesian women till date...

Subtitle translation by
Ardee Prananta