The Jungle School

The Jungle School


This film follows Time Magazine’s 2004 “Hero of Asia” BUTET MANURUNG’s (Prisia Nasution) journey from anthropologist to educator to activist as she works with the indigenous Orang Rimba people who live upstream the Makekal river in the forest of Bukit Duabelas of Jambi, Sumatera, Indonesia.

One day, Butet collapses in the middle of the forest, suffering from malaria. A tribal boy named NYUNGSANG BUNGO (Nyungsang Bungo), whom she doesn’t know, comes to her rescue. He belongs to another clan of Anak Dalam that lives downstream Makekal, which is about 7-hour walk through the forest from upstream Makekal where Butet goes to teach. Unbeknownst to her, Bungo has actually been observing Butet teach the upstream children for some time.

Her encounter with Bungo motivates Butet to also go and teach the downstream clan’s children. But her good intentions don’t get the blessing from both her superior at the agency where she works and from Bungo’s clan people, who still believe that learning to read and write can bring calamities upon them.

Despite the challenges, Butet is so inspired by Bungo’s intelligence and eagerness to learn that she makes every effort to keep teaching him. Unfortunately, a disaster Bungo’s clan has been dreading finally occurs. Butet is then forced to leave the jungle people she loves. Will she be able to return?

Festival & Awards

  • Piala Maya – 2013

       Awards: Best Feature Film

  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, USA – 2014
  • Cinemasia Film Festival, Netherland – 2014
  • 9th Indonesian Film Festival, Melbourne & Sydney, Australia – 2014
  • CINEMAGS Readers Choice Award – 2014

       Awards: Best Script Writer – Riri Riza

  • Indonesia Movie Awards, RCTI – 2014

       Awards: Most Favourite Actress – Prisia Nasution & Best Child Actor –        Nengkabau

  • Perth Indonesian Film Festival – 2014
  • Los Angeles Indonesian Film Festival  – 2014
  • ASEAN Film Festival, Washington – 2014
  • Focus on Asia – Fukuoka International Film Festival 2014

       Awards: Audience Award

  • Vancouver International Film Festival 2014
  • Singapore International Film Festival 2014
  • Indonesian Film Festival 2014

       Awards: Best Adapted Script & Special Award for Best Child Actor –        Nengkabau


Prisia Nasution,
Nyungsang Bungo


21 November 2013

Production Year



90 Menit


Riri Riza