Mobilitas Sosial untuk Pemula

Tiga tahun lebih. Selama itu pembuat filem Negeri di Bawah Kabut serta Denok & Gareng mengikuti narasumbernya. Di filem pertama, kita mendapati Shalahuddin Siregar mengikuti geliat dua keluarga petani di Desa Genikan menyambung kehidupan di tengah perubahan cuaca yang tak menentu. Di filem kedua, kita menyaksikan Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni merekam perjuangan sepasang mantan anak jalanan membangun rumah tangga di Desa Gamping.

Lokasi kedua filem ini terpisah 42 kilometer jauhnya. Apabila dihitung berdasarkan panjang jalan raya yang menghubungkan Desa Genikan dan Desa Gamping, kita akan mendapati kisaran angka dari 61 sampai 70 kilometer. Cukup jauh. Jauh pula perbedaan corak kehidupan masing-masing desa. Genikan adalah sebuah desa terpencil di lereng Gunung Merbabu, Jawa Tengah, di mana kebanyakan warganya hidup dengan bertani. Gamping sendiri berada di pinggir Yogyakarta, salah satu kota yang terhitung maju di negeri ini. Artinya, ada opsi penghidupan tambahan yang didapat warga Gamping dari kedekatan geografis ini, bersamaan dengan opsi penghidupan yang mungkin diberikan oleh Desa Gamping sendiri.

Menariknya, di antara jarak geografis dan perbedaan corak kehidupan, warga kedua desa seperti terhubung oleh masalah serupa: kebutuhan menyekolahkan anak. Dalam Negeri di Bawah Kabut, isu ini menjadi dominan dari pertengahan hingga akhir filem. Arifin, murid berprestasi di kelasnya, ingin lanjut SMP di sekolah negeri, tapi orangtua Arifin bukanlah kaum berpunya. Uang tiga ratus ribu masihlah terlalu besar untuk penghasilan seorang petani. Orangtua Arifin pun keliling desa cari pinjaman, yang juga tak didapat karena keluarga-keluarga lain sama kekurangannya. Isu yang sama turut hadir dalam Denok & Gareng. Sejak awal, pasangan ini mendapati anak lelakinya sering bolos sekolah, sementara biaya pendidikan yang harus mereka penuhi tak bisa dibilang murah. Masalahnya lagi, biaya pendidikan ini hanyalah satu dari sekian banyak tuntutan yang Denok dan Gareng harus penuhi, karena mereka ‘mewarisi’ hutang empat puluh juta Rupiah milik ayah Gareng yang kabur entah ke mana.

Perkara soal pendidikan anak ini menarik untuk diulik lebih lanjut. Sebutlah ini imajinasi populer masyarakat setempat, suatu harapan yang dijadikan pegangan untuk menghadapi hari-hari yang akan datang. Para orangtua dalam Negeri di Bawah Kabut serta Denok & Gareng tidak ada yang mengenyam bangku pendidikan, beberapa bahkan buta huruf, tapi semuanya terikat dalam komitmen menyekolahkan anak, walau memeberi beban yang tak sedikit pada perekonomian mereka yang juga tak bisa dibilang stabil. Untuk apa? Tidak tahu, pembuat filem juga tidak menyusurinya lebih lanjut.

Social Mobility for Beginner

More than three years. That is the amount of time spent by the filmmakers of The Land Beneath the Fog and Denok & Gareng following their sources. In the former, Shalahuddin Siregar followed the daily lives of two peasant families in Genikan, who strive to endure through erratic climate changes. In the latter, Dwi Sujanti Nugraheni recorded the struggle of a couple of former street punks in Gamping, who try to raise their family on meager earnings from odd jobs and a small pig farm.

Both films are set in Central Java, Indonesia, though the shooting locations are 42 kilometers apart. If we calculate the length of the road connecting Genikan and Gamping, we will get figures around 61 to 70 kilometers. Quite a distance. Such distance is also reflected in the stark contrast of lifestyle between the two villages. Genikan is a remote village on the slopes of Mount Merbabu, where most people live by farming, while Gamping is located just slightly outside of Yogyakarta, one of the relatively developed cities in Indonesia. Such geographical convenience provides more jobs, more means of survival, to the people of Gamping, along with the jobs and means of survival already available in their own village.

Intriguingly, despite the distance in lifestyle and geographical location, the residents of Gamping and Genikan are connected by one similar problem: the need to send their children to school. In The Land Beneath the Fog, this issue is dominant throughout the latter half of the film. Arifin, an outstanding student in his class, wants to continue his education to publick junior high school, but his parents are far from rich. Three hundred thousand Rupiah is too much for a farmer’s income. Arifin’s parents went around the village to look for a loan, which they didn’t get any since the other families were having the same shortcomings. The same issue is also present in Denok & Gareng. Minutes from the opening, we see the couple enraged after learning that their son has been skipping classes. The school tuition is not cheap, and their coffer is not exactly overflowing with gold coins. Moreover, they have to bear the burden of forty million Rupiah debt, ‘inherited’ from Gareng’s father whose whereabouts is currently unknown.

The matter about children education is interesting to be explored further. We can perceive it as the popular imagination of the local community, some kind of common hope among the people. The parents in The Land Beneath the Fog and in Denok & Gareng are neither schooled nor educated, some even illiterate, but all of them are inexplicably commited to give their children education as good as possible, even if it puts more burden on their flailing economy. For what? No reason given, none of the filmmakers explore the matter further.

<b><i>Denok & Gareng</i></b>
Denok & GarengDwi Sujanti Nugraheni (Indonesia)

Country of Production:  Indonesia
Language: Javanese, Bahasa Indonesia
Subtitles: English
89 min, Color, 2012

supported by the filmmaker

Synopsis

Berhadapan dengan rentetan harapan, rencana, dan kegagalan secara terus-menerus, mantan anak-anak jalanan, Denok dan Gareng bersatu demi memperjuangkan kesuksesan di masa depan. Pasangan muda ini mencoba peruntungan mereka dengan memulai bisnis kecil penjualan babi di tengah masyarakat Jakarta yang mayoritas Muslim. Lewat berbagai tantangan yang menguji kesabaran dan keyakinan mereka.

Filem ini melakukan eksplorasi terhadap kemampuan sebuah keluarga untuk bersatu, berjuang, dan tertawa bersama di hadapan nasib serupa Sisyphus dalam mitologi Yunani.

In the constant stream of hoping, failing and making new plans, Denok and Gareng stay united in their passionate struggle to make it up the hill one day. In the modest house of Gareng’s mum, the young Muslim couple starts a small pig business, looking for the lucky streak to come over the family. But new challenges constantly arise, putting their cheerfulness and patience on trial.

In an entirely observational approach Denok & Gareng explores a strong loving relationship inside a strikingly vivid family that sticks together, fights back and laughs, about what others would call a Sisyphus fate.

<b><i>Negeri di Bawah Kabut </i></b><i>(The Land Beneath the Fog)</i>
Negeri di Bawah Kabut (The Land Beneath the Fog)Shalahudin Siregar (Indonesia)

Country of Production:  Indonesia
Language: Javanese
Subtitles: English / Indonesia
105 min, Color, 2011

supported by the filmmaker

Synopsis

Di sebuah desa di lereng gunung, sebuah komunitas diam-diam sedang menghadapi perubahan tanpa mengerti alasannya. Sebagai komunitas petani yang mengandalkan sistem kalender tradisional Jawa dalam membaca musim, mereka dibuat bingung oleh musim yang sedang berubah.

Melalui kehidupan sehari-hari dua keluarga petani, Negeri di Bawah Kabut membawa kita melihat lebih dekat bagaimana perubahan musim, pendidikan dan kemiskinan saling berkaitan satu sama lain.

In the rhythm of a slow visual journey The Land Beneath the Fog takes an intimate look a family relations in Genikan -a remote mountain village on the Merbabu slope (Central Java). A quiet community is facing change without understanding why it happens. As a community of farmers who relies on the traditional Javanese calendar system to read the seasons, they become puzzled by the dramatic change of seasons.

Describing a life on the brink of vanishing, this documentary offers deep insights into “an invisible and disenfranchised society” which is struggling hard to maintain its existence.