Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – A year ago Andhika Rutten, a member of the  Indonesian diaspora community in the Netherlands participated in the Regular Oil Palm Course (ROPC) organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jambi, a province in the archipelagic country.

The program, which has been held since 2017, has greatly extended  Andhika’s horizon about oil palm plantations in Indonesia so as to make him initiate a film entitled Human in Oil.


The film directed by Belgin Inal contains Andhika’s experience and perception during the nine-day ROPC with other participants who were researchers, environmental activists, and academics from various countries, including those from the European Union.

During in Jambi, the ROPC participants lived with local palm oil farmers while learning and discussing on how the plantations and commodities sustain the lives of people in the area.

Human in Oil


Human in Oil was produced by Dutch production house Docsfair and was launched in Amsterdam on Friday (Nov 22).

The film, which will be distributed throughout the world, including via social media, highlights oil palm plantations which have changed the lives of smallholders in Jambi.

In the film, some farmers are also given the opportunity to reveal their views about the ban on oil palm imports by European Union countries.


The film also shows a responsible and environmentally friendly management of the palm oil industry in Indonesia as it is operated according to the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and ISPO (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil System) standards.

Human in Oil which tells the life of farmers in palm oil plantations in Indonesia is a humane picture amid the misleading opinions developed by various parties in the European Union, especially regarding environmental damages.

At the launch of Human in Oil, Indonesia’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Mahendra Siregar said until now there has been no global understanding of the issue of palm oil.


He hoped the film would become a medium for the people in the Netherlands in particular, and Europe in studying and exploring oil palm issues which have been a scapegoat for environmental damages.

According to Siregar, such perceptions cannot be changed overnight, but the film is the first step to building a deep global understanding of palm oil.

Reporting by Indonesia Window


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