The Blindfold

The story of three young people lured into a radical Islamic organisation.

In contemporary Indonesia, religious radicalisation is on the rise. The outlawed Indonesian Islamic State (NII) successfully recruits among young people who don’t have any prospects of training or work. Recruits are blindfolded before being taken to a contact address.

Indonesia’s leading film director Garin Nugroho (LEAF ON A PILLOW, OPERA JAWA) tells three different stories: that of the girl Rima, who emerges as a valuable staff member of the NII while Jabir, joins the radical Muslims out of frustration to get away from the lives of his parents who have no prospects. And Asimah (played by veteran actress Jajang C.Noer), searches her daughter Ainsi who has been kidnapped by the NII.

This film focuses on the importance of dialogue, openness and critical points of view in the search for identity of every child of the nation.

In constructing his narrative, Nugroho drew from the research of the Maarif Institute, Indonesia’s leading moderate Islamic organization, which aims to promote pluralism, tolerance and active dialogue in understanding the religion. Due to the threat of attacks and under the watchful eye of the head of counter-terrorism, Nugroho finished principal photography in nine days using non-professional actors, with the exception of veteran actress Noer.