The end of 2020 finds Indonesia in a solemn vagary. The pandemic near the end of 2019 and its impacts on various sectors apart from healthcare, the government’s recent policies that evoke controversies, are but a fragment of predicaments that haunt us in a question, what will happen next? How and where do Indonesia go? A perspective at a national level oftentimes obscures the tumults of the other layers, layers that we’re actually standing upon but overlooked as eyes are glued to the horizon. Constructing a way out of disaster involves not only unflinching focus towards a goal, but also the courage to hold back and look around at even nooks and crannies to ask: how will a choice affect this scenery in the future?
This year, Festival Film Dokumenter’s Lanskap tries to provide a lens for these supposedly meager tumults and turbulences, through eight films that are a combination of archived films of Forum Film Dokumenter the year of 2018 and 2019, and the 2020 film entries that will also be part of the archive. In the films, an idyllic life that hides social complexities, a personal history that reveals bigger realities, as well as a play of individual’s possibilities bound and unbound out of their identities, are explored. The method of storytelling and artistic choices can always be argued subjectively, but meanings born out of issues captured should always be viewed objectively, which in return would hopefully stir thoughts and discussions about Indonesia, both on the personal and social level.
In Paguruan 4.0, Gedoran Depok, and Di Pinggir Kali Citarum for example, the very simple and undeniable fact that people try to fit themselves into the perceived reality that contains them, is shown. In each, they face struggles particular to their environment, their background, their passion, and profession. The demand to adapt and mold themselves to their surroundings, the inability to resist the power that’s trying to erase them, the resolution to accept and preserve amidst things happening outside of their control, are all dynamics captured in three films.
Meanwhile in Shin Hua, Golek Garwo, and Mbah Kancil, the inevitability of old age is delivered with grace. In one, people try to live by the things they know and love. In another, people are shown to never stop pursuing what tugs at their heart. And in the last, people hold their passion close even as twilight stares at them and questions how it reflects their journey.
Banyak Ayam Banyak Rejeki sees the mash up of realities and how easy it collapses and rebuilds when one alters one’s identity; identity that seems to bring with it an inherited burden and unshakable stigma in Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea.