Letting go of the Past from History Concentration through Discussion
Departing from film scrrening of Spektrum program | Dear Memory : Facticity, Festival Film Dokumenter 16 was also holding Q&A session on Sunday (10/12). Located at IFI-LIP, this session attended by Akbar Yumni (Jurnal Footage), Sebastien Simon (Director of “The Troubled Troubadour”), and Amerta Kusuma (Producer of “The Origin of Fear”)
Presenting 3 films; “The Origin of Fear” (Bayu Prihantoro Filemon, 2016), “Memoria” (Kamila Andini, 2016), and “The Troubled Troubadour” (Sebastien Simon, 2016), this program raised ho history is not always about something that written in the text of particular political-economic power.. the effort to re-constructing the past through narrations about particular truth regime is a naivete and will only reducing history to one rigid truth that is closed to talk about. Through those 3 films, Festival Film Dokumenter is trying to presents the past through memory that is can not be separated from moment, trauma, speech act, makes it something that is personal.
“The Origin of Fear”, a film from Bayu Prihantoro Filemon that is blurring limitation between fiction and documentary. The film that is actually the fourth part from antology film of ’65, presenting audio exploration towards monumental narration creation of Ner Order regime related with the ’65 tragedy, “Betrayal of G-30-S/PKI.”
The presented audio ecploration in this film becomes so interesting as an effort to understanding about the past. It is because “The Origin of Fear” is born as a respond on individual and collective anxiety how the creation of Arifin C. Noer is can not be separated from trauma that he’d been created. Anxiety on how all of the text of New Order regime in seeing the tragedy, is not giving any space to anyone to do re-reading. Be it Lemhanas’ document titled “Bahan-Bahan Pokok G-30-S/PKI dan Penghancurannya” (G-30-S/PKI’s Staples and The Destruction) (1968) up to Arifin C. Noer’s film, which all of these are presenting black and white reading on Soeharto regime towards the ’65 tragedy. “The Origin of Fear” then becomes antithesis towards narrative approach that done by the New Order regime, by showing performative acts.
The intellectual genocide launched by Soeharto’s regime in campuses up to the crushing of alternative discourses through article of Benedict Anderson titled 1 Oktober 1965 Sebuah Analisis Awal (1 October 1965 Coup d’Etat: The First Analysis) (1971) as example, left problem for the generation that separated by space and time from the ’65 tragedy. They ractically only have one source: The New Order regime in understanding the tragedy. The separation of space and time then overcome by Bayu by showing history as a performative act through reading of personal sources.
“The audio exploration conducted in “The Origin of Fear” offering new discourse. It is not only talking about new evidence, new finding, but catching traumatic effect that created from the voices because they are even more imaginative than picture,” said Akbar.
“In the research phase, we found that it is very possible in the film production process, voice of 2 persons as a victim and a perpetrator filled by sampe person. Here is where the voice’s power presented to create a certain emotion, like what we can see in the film,” explained Amerta related on why the choose to explore on audo aspect from “Pengkhianatan G-30-S/PKI.
The discussion became interesting when a participant presented a fact, aggreeing the films’ statement. There is more scenes about family harmony in “Pengkhianatan G-30-S/PKI, but the use of the voice in this film ultimately left traumatic effect to the audience.
Furthermore, Akbar Yumni explained that the absence of alternative discourses because of the intellectual genocide conducted by the New Order make people trapped in the tradition of history concentration. The tradition that unfortunately has entered into the spaces which should not be. So, what happened next in each party mutually sacralizing their truth and doesn’t give any space for different past experienced by other party.
Meanwhile, “The Troubled Troubadour”, one of two films of Sebastian Simon in FFD this year presented memory through a journey to the death. Myth exploration from South Korea, United State, Mexico, up to Scandinavia combined with visual metaphors make the memory becomes so private in this film. How the main character fight with every complexity of the problems he is facing in the journey to the death.
“I think it’s clear enough that this film is talking about deat. Even the main character himself has been dead simbolically several times,” said Simon.
The Reality of multi-interpretation text used to talk about some problems. As example, the complicated history of Japan and South Korea presented by Simon through the main character’s background and the dualism of identity of Japan and South Korea he lived in.
“The character is a Japanese. The dualism of identity can be seen when he talk with other Japanese, he is using Japanese Language. Meanwhile when he talk with the character which background is South Korean myth, he is using Korean Language,” said Simon.
The dualism of identity then brought us to the problem that experienced by the main character. How he is facing the memory in the form of stigma about him as musician by his own father, and how he make peace with those memories. His relation with his daughter, wife, up to his past romantic story as a musician, all presented the conflict of Japan and South Korea in personal dimension of the main character. In line with this program, “The Troubled Troubadour presented conflict between Japan and South Korea in non-narrative form through performative acts in the form of myth exploration and visual metaphors.
Same approach in seeing past is also presented by Kamila Andini in “Memoria.” The film which tell us about personal conflict a sexual violence victiim, giving us different perspective in seeing Indonesia’s occupation towards Timor Leste. Through Maria, the main character of this film, Kamila presented on how war is not only about armed conflict. It changed the joints of social life where the war happened.
“Memoria” recorded about how armed conflict having so much destructive effect towards a family relation. Trauma and fear that experienced by Maria not stopped only in her, but also influenced her relation with her children. Makes Maria trapped on history concentrarion which assumed that the war is over. How the peace stopped on a mere agreement paper of elites, far from the reality that full of trauma where Maria lived on.