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Marjinalitas dan Keterlemparan: Catatan tentang Penayangan Filem di Program International Competition 3

Penulis merasa sangat tertarik dengan penayangan filem yang satu ini. Selain menjadi program pertama dari serangkaian penayangan filem-filem selama festival ARKIPEL Penal Colony yang akan berlangsung seminggu ke depan, tema subprogram Kompetisi Internasional ini, “Batas Akar”, menyisakan tanya. Ugeng T. Moetidjo, kurator subprogram ini, berhalangan hadir dan perannya digantikan oleh panitia festival yang lain.

Marjinalitas dan kehidupan dunia ketiga agaknya menjadi garis besar empat filem yang diputarkan di kompetisi ini. Dalam pengantar yang terdapat di katalog festival, Ugeng lewat catatannya menjelaskan bahwa memori-memori tribalistik menjadi sebuah ekspresi kultural dan merupakan tindakan paling logis dan satu-satunya dalam komunitas “subaltern”. Oleh sebab itu, empat filem yang ditayangkan memang secara khusus mengekspos kehidupan marjinal, yang bagi saya sendiri, rasanya cukup menyesakkan selama menonton. Sisa-sisa kolonialisasi dan kehidupan dalam pembuangan menjadi trigger bagi saya pribadi, karena seperti menjadi pengingat, bahwa ketimpangan hidup antara yang makmur dengan yang melarat begitu kentara di dunia ketiga.

Afrian Purnama (kanan, berdiri dan berkacamata), salah satu anggota Tim Selektor Kompetisi Internasional, menggantikan Ugeng T. Moetidjo yang berhalangan hadir, untuk membacakan pengantar subprogram Kompetisi Internasional 03.

Bertempat di GoetheHaus, Menteng, Jakarta, penayangan subprogram Kompetisi Internasional 3 ini berlangsung selama dua jam, yakni dari pukul 13.00 – 15.00. Pengunjung di hari pertama penayangan memang tidak sebanyak hadirin di Forum Festival yang berlangsung selama dua hari sebelumnya, yakni hanya 37 orang. Ada empat filem yang diputar dan ketiganya mengambil latar di dunia ketiga.

Filem pertama yang diputar berjudul Maxamba, disutradarai oleh Suzzane Barnard dan Sofia Borges asal Portugal. Filem yang berdurasi 25 menit ini mengambil latar di India, dengan pemeran sepasang suami-istri yang hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan. Dialog yang ada di dalam filem memang secara eksplisit menyatakan apa garis besar filem tersebut. Namun, jika diperhatikan lebih dekat, percakapan pemeran utama dengan seseorang di telepon yang sekadar bertanya kabar di kampung halaman menunjukkan suatu kerinduan yang amat mendalam. Penonton begitu terhenyak pada suasana di dalam filem yang menggambarkan kesunyian rumah dan redupnya suasana di dalamnya. Kerasnya kehidupan yang harus dijalani setelah dibuang dari tanah yang telah ditinggali sebelumnya tentunya tidak mudah. Sepasang suami-istri di filem ini begitu merindukan kehidupan mereka yang lama, ketika mereka bisa hidup tenang di tanah mereka. Namun, realita telah melempar mereka secara keji; membuat mereka mati pelan-pelan, sesekali merindu, dan sisa hidup harus diisi untuk terus berjuang bertahan, walau kadang tak tahan.

Susana pengisian buku tamu sebelum acara pemutaran Kompetisi Internasional 03 ARKIPEL di GoetheHaus, Jakarta.

Filem kedua adalah filem berdurasi 63 menit berjudul Moo Ya, karya Filippo Ticozzi asal Italia. Juga berlatar di negara ketiga, filem ini mengisahkan tentang sisa-sisa peperangan yang begitu keji di Uganda. Pemeran utamanya adalah seorang pria buta yang melakukan napak tilas pertumpahan darah di tanah airnya. Hal itu ia lakukan untuk sebuah misi, yakni untuk bertemu dengan para warga di daerah-daerah yang terjadi pertumpahan darah, dengan harapan akan menghibur mereka. Kesaksian-kesaksian warga Uganda tentang kejamnya perang membuat para penonton bergidik ngeri. Ada yang menutup mulutnya, ada yang mengusap-usap lehernya, sebagai tanda suatu kerisihan akan praktik-praktik kekejaman di masa peperangan. Namun, apa yang penulis sukai dari filem ini adalah suasananya. Sutradara dengan apik membuat selingan yang sesekali membuat penonton tertawa dan tersenyum. Selingan-selingan yang ditampilkan ada yang berupa tari-tarian warga, aktivitas ibu yang sedang memandikan anaknya yang lucu, dll. Pada akhirnya, filem ini menjadi tidak terlalu mencekam, namun tidak juga kehilangan pesan yang hendak disampaikan, yakni memori-memori kelam peperangan yang masih nyata dalam ingatan para warga. Kolonialisasi dan peperangan secara nyata begitu menghantui mereka, terutama rasa takut jika harus mengalami kesengsaraan secara berkelanjutan lagi. Perang memang telah usai, namun luka yang dihasilkan tampaknya belum sembuh sepenuhnya.

Filem ketiga adalah filem karya anak bangsa, Wahyu Utami Putri dan Ishak Iskandar yang berjudul Welu de Fasli atau. Selama sepuluh menit, penonton dibawa pada kondisi dan suasana kehidupan di Manggarai, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Seorang anak bernama Fasli yang sama sekali tidak berucak dalam bahasa Indonesia di dalam filem itu, bertanya pada pamannya mengenai hasil panen kemiri di kebunnya sembari membantu sedikit-sedikit. Ada suatu percakapan yang bagi penulis sangat menarik, yakni ketika Fasli bertanya pada Paman Rid, yakni hasil panen kemiri di kebun siapa yang paling banyak, kebunnya Paman Rid atau kebunnya Fasli. Penonton pun tak jarang yang tawanya berderai ketika melihat tingkah Fasli yang lucu dan cadel ketika berbicara dalam Bahasa Manggarai.

Berhubung Wahyu Utami, selaku sutradara, datang di hari pemutaran, maka penulis pun langsung menghampirinya usai pemutaran untuk menanyakan makna perbincangan tersebut yang kesannya biasa saja, namun penulis merasa pasti ada maksud tertentu di sana. Ternyata benar, Wahyu Utami pun menceritakan latar belakang kehidupan Fasli yang sebatang kara tanpa orang tua, sehingga kebun kemiri itu memang diwariskan untuknya. Namun, karena ia belum bisa mengurusnya sendiri, pamannya Fasli pun turun tangan untuk merawat dan menjaga kebun kemirinya. Wahyu Utami ingin menggambarkan marjinalitas dan kesendirian hidup Fasli dalam filem tersebut. Ia juga merasakan bahwa, walaupun Fasli dan kru filem terkendala dalam bahasa, itu tidak membuat Fasli lantas menjauh. Ia justru terus-menerus berusaha untuk berkomukasi dengan kru filem. Keterasingan hidup membuat Fasli memiliki cara tersendiri untuk berbicara pada kru dan para penonton yang menyaksikan garapan filem ini; begitu unik, begitu meluluhkan hati.

Filem terakhir berjudul High Cities of Bone, karya Joao Salaviza dari Portugal. Filem ini begitu gelap, bagi penulis. Secara harfiah memang gelap, karena pengambilan gambar cenderung di malam hari dan gelap juga secara metaforis, sebab kisah yang diangkat terasa seperti malam gelap tanpa bulan dan bintang. Dengan mengambil latar di dataran Afrika, filem ini mengisahkan seorang pria diasingkan dari komunitasnya. Ia melewati tiap harinya dalam pengasingan dengan melantunkan lagu-lagu rap dengan lirik yang menyimbolkan perlawanan. Semacam menjadi mantra, agaknya penonton tersihir dengan kata-kata perjuangan dan pemberontakan yang terlontar dari mulutnya. Hal ini menjadi semacam pengingat bagi penulis, bahwa naluri kemerdekaan yang ada pada diri manusia seringkali tergerus atau terkurung pada hal-hal yang diskenariokan oleh para penguasa.

Memaknai filem eksperimental memang tidak bisa seperti halnya kita berusaha memahami filem-filem yang bersifat industrial (hiburan) belaka. Lewat filemnya, keempat sutradara ini begitu cerdik mengajak penonton untuk peka pada setiap detail yang tampil di layar, untuk dapat menangkap makna yang dimaksudkan oleh mereka. Penangkapan makna pun walaupun tidak dapat 100%, sebab filem ini juga merupakan olahan ciri artistik mereka sendiri. Tanpa mengurangi esensi dan pesan yang hendak disampaikan, keempat filem ini menyampaikan pesan lewat hal yang melampaui aktivitas berbicara. ***

English

Marginality and Thrownness: Notes on Film Screening in Program International Competition 3

The writer feels very interested in this film screening program. Aside of being the first program from a series of film screening during the ARKIPEL Penal Colony which will occur on one following week, the theme of this International Competition subprogram is ” The Liminality of Roots”, left questions. Ugeng T. Moetidjo, this subprogram curator, was unable to attend the screening and his role was replaced by another festival committee.

Afrian Purnama (right), one of the selectors, read the curatorial preface of the International Competition 03 subprogram.

Marginality and life of the third world seem to be the outline of the four films screened in this competition. In the introduction in the festival’s catalogue, Ugeng through his notes explains that tribalistic memories become a cultural expression and are the most logical and the only action in the “subaltern” community. Therefore, these four films did specifically expose the marginal life, which for me, was quite stifling during the watching. The remnants of colonialization and life in exile became a trigger for me personally, because it is like a reminder, that the inequality of life between the prosperous and the poor is so evident in the third world.

Located at GoetheHaus, Menteng, Jakarta, the screening of International Competition 3 occurred for two hours, from 13.00 to 15.00. The audiences on the first day of the screening were only 37 people and not as much as the attendees at the Festival Forum that lasted two days earlier. There were four films screened and those three took the third world as its background.

The first film screened was Maxamba, directed by Suzzane Barnard and Sofia Borges from Portugal. This 25-minute film took India as its background, with a pair of married couples living below the poverty line. The dialogue in the film does explicitly state the outline of the film. However, if it was observed closer, the conversation of the main character with someone on the phone simply asking for news from hometown revealing a deep longing. The audience was stunned at the mood in the film depicting the silence of the house and the dimness of the atmosphere inside. The harshness of life that must be lived after being dumped from the land which was inhabited previously, is certainly not easy. The couple in this film longed for their old life, when they can live quietly on their land. However, reality has thrown them cruelly; making them die slowly, occasionally longing, and the rest of their lives must be filled to keep surviving, even if sometimes they cannot bear it.

The second film was a 63-minute film called Moo Ya, by Italian filmmaker Filippo Ticozzi. Also set in a third world country, this film was about the wicked remnants of war in Uganda. The main cast was a blind man who performs a pilgrimage to the bloodbath in his homeland. It was for a mission to meet the people of areas where bloodshed occurred, hoping to entertain them. The Ugandan testimonies about the cruel war make the audience shudder with horror. Some closed their mouths; some rubbed their necks, as a sign of feeling disturbed by the cruel practices in times of war. However, what the writer likes about this film is its atmosphere. The director nicely made an occasional interlude that made the audience laugh and smile. The interlude displayed there took the form of people’s dances, the activity of a mother who was bathing her cute son, etc. In the end, the film became less tense, but still able to keep the message to be delivered; the dark memories of war which were still evident in the minds of the people. Colonization and war were obviously haunting them, especially the fear of experiencing sustained persecution again. The war was over, but the resulting wounds did not seem to be fully healed.

The third film was a work of an Indonesian, Wahyu Utami Putri and Ishak Iskandar entitled Welu de Fasli or Candlenut’s Fasli. For ten minutes, the audience was brought to the conditions and atmosphere of life in Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara. A child named Fasli who never speaks Indonesian language in that film, asks his uncle about the harvest in his garden while helping a little. There was a conversation that for the writer is very interesting, that was when Fasli asked Uncle Rid, whose garden that harvest candlenut at the most, the garden of Uncle Rid or the garden of Fasli. The audiences often laughed when they saw Fasli’s funny and lisp behavior when talking in Manggarai language.

Because Wahyu Utami, as the director, came on the day of screening, the writer immediately approached her after the screening to ask the meaning of that conversation which its impression seem to be ordinary, but the writer feels that there is certain purpose there. Apparently true, Wahyu Utami also told the background of Fasli’s life that was alone without parents, so that candlenut garden was indeed inherited for him. However, because he could not take care of himself, his uncle also helped to care for and maintain his garden. Wahyu Utami wanted to portray the marginality and solitude of Fasli’s life in the film. She also senses that, although Fasli and the film crew were constrained by language, it didn’t make Fasli went away. He was constantly trying to communicate with the film crew. Alienation of life made Fasli has his own way of talking to crew and audiences watching this film; very unique, very heart-melting.

The last film was entitled High Cities of Bone, by Joao Salaviza from Portugal. This film was so dark, for the writer. Literally dark, because the shooting tends to occur at night, and also metaphorically dark because the story that is lifted feels like a dark night without moon and stars. By taking the plains of Africa as its location, this film narrates the story of a man exiled from his community. He spent the days in exile by singing rap songs with lyrics that symbolize resistance. Becoming a mantra, it seemed the audience was enchanted by the words of struggle and rebellion that came out of his mouth. This becomes a kind of reminder for the writer, that the instinct for freedom in human is often eroded or confined to things schemed by the rulers.

Understanding experimental films indeed could not be done like we try to understand industrial (entertainment) films only. Through the film, the four directors were cleverly inviting the audience to be sensitive to every detail appears on the screen, to be able to grasp the meaning intended by them. Capturing the meaning although we can’t get it 100%, because these films are also a cultivation of their own artistic characteristics. Without reducing the essence and message to be conveyed, these four films delivered the message through things beyond the activity of talking. ***

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