Inspired by true events and characters, the picture is a docudrama of the terrorism act and its aftermath. In October 2002, a series of bombs exploded in the resort island of Bali, killing more than 200 people including many foreigners. Bali was struck for the second time almost exactly three years later when two dozen people were killed.
Until recently the Bali bombings were still a taboo subject in Indonesia. Last December, local censors banned Leonard Retel Helmrich's Dutch documentary Promised Paradise which contains images of one of the terrorists, Imam Samudra, at the Jakarta International Film Festival.
Long Road To Heaven is the feature debut of award-winning TV director Enison Sinaro who was a class-mate of Indonesian veteran filmmaker Garin Nugroho in Jakarta Institute of Arts (IKJ). 'We are not exploiting the tragedy. Many lessons can be drawn from it. We can understand more the reasons for the terrorists, as well as the feelings and thoughts of the victims, their families and even the foreigners,' Sinaro says.
The picture presents the incident from different perspectives, leaving the audience to draw its own conclusion. It has received three cuts from the censors, including a scene when the terrorists are seen bribing the local police and another scene when they are praying before exploding the bombs.
Dinata, one of Indonesia's most prominent director-producers, whose Love For Share is selected as the country's entry for this year's Oscars, is co-producing the picture through her production company Kalyana Shira Films with TeleProductions International, a TV production and international distribution company in the US.
The picture will open on Jan 25 in 45 theatres in 13 cities across Indonesia. A gala premiere will be held on Jan 23 in Jakarta which will be attended by ambassadors and cultural attache of the foreign citizens killed in the 2002 attacks.