Arts and Culture
My paper investigates the cinematic practices of making, exhibiting and discussing film in Indonesian independent film communities (komunitas film) as acts of history-altering through film. Beyond the radar of state censorship and outside of commercial distribution channels, the films produced and screened within komunitas film are different. A differentiating factor is the “distinctive social function” (Maltby 2011:19) of cinematic practices to tackle social issues. This is palpable on the level of the film as well as on the level of exhibition; where post-screening discussions are an integral part of the cinematic ecosystem. Many films address silenced facets of macro events in Indonesian history. Komunitas film micro-level cinematic practices become fractures in macro-level hegemonic discourses. They do so by 1. screening alternative angles on historic events and 2. opening a discussion to challenge hegemonic historical narratives at “the social event that is the cinema screening” (Maltby 2011:14). ISTIRAHATLAH KATA-KATA by Yosep Anggi Noen and BUNGA DAN TEMBOK by Eden Junjung un-silence the disappearance of activists during the New Order regime. These films stand as a prime example of how -within the space of komunitas film - cinematic practices become acts of history-altering. My paper elaborates on the function of komunitas film in re-imagining, re-constructing and overcoming hegemonic history discourses. In the language of New Cinema History it is a “microhistorical inquiry” (Maltby 2011:14) using an ethnographic cinema history approach with a focus on the history-altering intentions of the filmmakers (directors and producers).