The story of Kartini (Dian Sastrowardoyo), the most popular heroine in Indonesia. In early 1900, Indonesia is colonized by the Dutch, and Java led by nobles under the supervision of the Dutch government. At that time only noble man that could go to school. Women are not allowed to obtain a higher education. For Javanese women there are only one purpose in life, be a man’s wife. Kartini grows up seeing how her biolgical mother, Ngasirah (Christine Hakim) becomes an outcast in her own home, considered as maid just because she has no blue blood. Her father, Raden Sosroningrat (Deddy Sutomo), who loves Kartini and her family is also powerless against the tradition. Kartini struggles throughout his life to fight for equal rights for all people, and the right to education for everyone, especially for women. Together with her sisters, Roekmini (Acha Septriasa) and Kardinah (Ayushita Nugraha), she builds a school for the poor and creates jobs for the people in Jepara and surrounding areas.