The Suharto regime has been holding power in Indonesia for over 30 years, shutting down democracy time and time again. Highly critical of the regime and unafraid to speak his mind, Wiji Thukul is a poet whose words are often yelled proudly by the crowd during political protests. When riots break out in Jakarta in 1996, he and a few other activists are accused to be responsible. Forced to flee, Wiji escapes to Pontianak in Borneo where he hides for eight months, sometimes living with complete strangers. There, he has to change his identity several times, but continues to write poetry and short stories under a pen name. In the meantime, in Solo, central Java, his wife, Sipon, lives with their two children under constant surveillance. In May 1998, Wiji Thukul is declared missing, a month before Suharto is deposed by his own people.