Documentary In The Post-Truth Era


Post-truth as the chosen theme of the festival will be summarized within a discussion. It will discuss how the chosen perspective in the festival influences documentary films production patterns. Documentary films are to be seen as the perfect medium to deliver subjective realities from the perspective. The discussion will be directed towards the disputed medium of documentary films.

The number of films to frame the discussion are chosen through different ways of delivery by the filmmaker’s subjectivity. Such as: Pantja-Sila: Cita-cita dan Realita (Tino Saroengallo & Tyo Pakusadewo, 2016) is a semi-documentary film where Soekarno’s speech on the birth of Pancasila was redone/remade. The Red Barred (Agus Darmawan & Sakti Parantean, 2017) is a documentary about the military training Siwan,a young man, went through to be a part of Pemuda Pancasila, a community organization formed back in the New Order regime and still exists. AWAL : Nasib Manusia (Gilang B. Santoso, 2017) as a portrait of a student who got a scholarship in the early years of Soekarno’s regime to study film-making in Russia, but couldn’t go back to his homeland during/post 1965 because of the stigma and got labelled as a communist.

Within the context of documentary in Indonesia, discussions confines it. The films were chosen because of their representation of Indonesian political constructed timeline, from the Orde Lama, 1965’, to the New Order. All of the three films are considered enough to lead the discussion about the chosen perspective of the filmmaker. Choice of subject, subjectivity, to the representation in the films are going to be used as discussion materials. Through these films, the construction of truth in this medium will be dismantled. How does the camera eye capture reality? Who are represented by the display on the screen? When documentary is believed as reality, then where the authority of one’s subject to raise their voice? Do documentary really involve a manipulative series of technical work, such as editing? Then at the end, whose view on reality is shown in documentaries? Wouldn’t it be the same as Trump’s propagandist speeches during campaign?

Questions derived from above is going to work as an interesting border/ boundary to discuss about the film’s position towards the post-truth era. The discussion hopefully won’t just swirl around the debate on post-truth itself, but also focus on finding the relation with media is truly important in this documentary-focused film festival.


Roy Thaniago – Remotivi
Agus Darmawan – Filmmaker of The Red Barred
Gilang B. Santoso – Filmmaker of AWAL: Nasib Manusia

Irfan R. Darajat – Researcher, LARAS

Tuesday, December 12th 2017 | Auditorium IFI-LIP, Yogyakarta | 15:00

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