Behind the ban of “Prison and Paradise”


Towards the end of last year, I learnt that Daniel Rudi Haryanto’s “Penjara dan Nirwana” (Prison and Paradise, 2010) did not get a Censorship Certificate (STLS) from the Indonesian Film Censorship Board (LSF). It means that the film is banned from public viewing under the jurisdiction of Indonesia.

After the massive political changes in 1998 that succeeded in removing President Soeharto, this is the second time that a movie did not get the censorship certificate in Indonesia. Previously, “Dendam Pocong” (2006), directed by Monty Tiwa also had the same problem. The reason behind the ban of “Dendam Pocong”, according to Monty Tiwa in a phone call, was that there was a concern that the film had the potential to open an “old wound”.

“Dendam Pocong” depicts violence against the Chinese during the riots in 1998. As a result, “Pocong 2” became one of the most unique films in Indonesia, as the film is not a sequel from the first film. The truth is that “Pocong 1” was never publicly released.

Prison and Paradise suffered a similar problem as “Dendam Pocong”. Without the censorship certificate, the film cannot be played theatrically. The reasons of the ban were stated in the rejection letter No: 26/DVD/TLK/LSF.XII/2011, dated December 9, 2011. I got a copy of the letter from Daniel Rudi Haryanto (aka Rudi Gajahmada) and the reasons for the ban are below in italics:

“The film is filled with dialogue reflecting a misleading propaganda, so that it will give a negative influence on the Islamic younger generation in Indonesia. Therefore, the documenatary film does not fit with the criteria of censorship and religious aspects, thus cannot be circulated or distributed in the Republic of Indonesia.”

The “religious aspects” referred to actually relates to the censorship rules created during the New Order, Government Regulation (PP) No. 6 in 1994, of the Film Censorship Board. On the religious question, a film may be denied from screening within the jurisdiction of Indonesia with following religious reasons (I quote these from Article 2 of the government regulation):

“(2) The elements assessed in terms of religion are:

a. a film which gives an impression of anti-God and anti-religion in all its forms and manifestations;

b. a film which can damage the inter-religious harmony in Indonesia; or;

c. insults one of the recognised religions in Indonesia.”

In fact, the Film Censorship Board is still working under regulations that were written during the New Order with the intention to control film content. Until now, there has been no censorship regulation to substitute this previous regulation.

It is interesting to note that the rejection letter given to Prison and Paradise coincided with the judging process at the Festival Film Indonesia (FFI) in 2011, when the film was selected as one of the nominees for Best Documentary.

As a result of this letter, the Executive Committee of FFI stated that the nomination should be cancelled because, according to the Guidelines for FFI, all films registered in the FFI must have a censorship certificate.

Prison and Paradise (and many short films and other documentaries) actually do not have censorship certificates when they were submitted to FFI. The FFI executive committee, according to its chairman Abduh Aziz, planned to register all films with the LSF (Lembaga Sensor Film or Film Censorship Board) in order to meet the requirements of their guidelines.

But instead of being approved by the board, Prison and Paradise was rejected, and consequently, its nomination revoked. Even the roadshow, originally planned by the FFI Committee for November 15 to 23 2011, was cancelled. Not only that, Daniel Rudi Haryanto’s roadshow to introduce his film to 37 cities, was stopped at the 17th city. Based on his statements, Rudi was often visited by the police who asked for the film censorship certificate, during his tour to various cities.

Abduh Aziz had said that he got the information of Prison and Paradise’s rejection from Totot Indrarto, one of the judges in the FFI committee, who said that it was rejected at the plenary level of LSF. When I contacted Totot, he only said that the information he received from LSF staff was not clear, though they implied that a rejection was given at the plenary level.

Then I contacted Akhlis Suryapati, a journalist and director, who is now a member of LSF. He explained how the LSF works. Every day, members of LSF are working in groups and they have a schedule to censor films. They decide which films will pass or not pass, and then the group will create a letter to be signed by the Chairman of the LSF. If there is a movie that cannot be decided at the committee level, the film is usually discussed at the executive level. Beyond this level, is the final plenary level, where all members of the LSF, about 45 people, will be invited to talk about it.

Akhlis Suryapati said that he was never invited to the plenary meeting to discuss the film, Prison and Paradise. So it is most likely that Prison and Paradise was rejected at the committee level. Akhlis advised me to contact the Chairman of the LSF, Mukhlis Paeni and LSF’s secretary, Pudji Rahaju. Mukhlis Paeni said he did not have time to answer my interview request, as he was busy with teaching. He also did not have the data on the film and suggested that I contact Pudji Rahayu.

From Pudji Rahayu, I received confirmation that Prison and Paradise failed to pass the censorship process at the first group level. But Rahayu Pudji said that she was in a rush and wanted to end the conversation as soon as possible.


I watched Prison and Paradise when the film was screened in the competition section of the Documentary Film Festival 2010 in Yogyakarta. I was a jury member. Prison and Paradise tells us about the Bali bombers. Rudi successfully interviewed Mukhlas, Imam Samudra and Amrozi in prison. They were given the opportunity by Rudi to express their in-depth views about Islam, jihad and the bombings. In addition to them, Rudi also interviewed Noor Huda Ismail, a former journalist and now an activist in the Inscription Peace Foundation, who was once a roommate of one of the bombers when they were together studying in a boarding school, Al Mukmin, Ngruki, a boarding school led by Abubakar Ba’asyir.

Rudi’s coverage on Noor Huda is somewhat overdone, in my opinion, and even includes a meeting with Noor Huda and the bomber’s family and Noor Huda’s trip to Bali to see the Ground Zero Monument of the bombing. It was Rudi’s effort to show Noor Huda’s reflections rather than just present the facts and the opinions about the bombing. This section is an effort to neutralize the views of the bombers and to provide an overview that there can be two completely different intersections on the same road, as both Noor Huda and the bomber came from the same Al Mukmin, Ngruki pesantren (Islamic school) in Central Java.

But the statements of the bombers were considered by the LSF as propaganda speeches. As we know, most of the bombers (such as Amrozi and Imam Samudra) never regretted their actions and assumed that what they had done is a sacred path desired by Islam. This was considered as misleading propaganda by the LSF.

Of course, the sentences are likely to be misleading when they are used out of context. However, don’t you think that almost every movie has a potential to mislead when there are sentences that are removed from context? I feel that this movie has to be seen in full, as I believe that the audience is capable enough to sort out which information is credible and which ones are not.

In addition, it must be remembered that the standard LSF censorship still depends on regulations made under the New Order. Censorship regulation for a film should be the government’s responsibility. Until now, there is NO new regulation, and Indonesian filmmakers are still treated with suspicion, as they were during the New Order.

Actually, before the film was rejected by LSF, Prison and Paradise already invited protests. The Embassy of Indonesia in the United Arab Emirates questioned the participation of Prison and Paradise at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2010. The film, as the embassy claimed, had internationally maligned Indonesia, as well as complicated the Indonesian government’s efforts in tourism promotion. The protest was delivered by the Embassy in Dubai to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (the name of the ministry at the time), and this protest influenced Syamsul Lussa, the Director of Film, an institution under the Directorate General of Cultural Art and Film, at the ministry,  to call Daniel Rudi Haryanto to the Sapta Pesona Building, the office of the Minister. In early 2011, Rudi attended the meeting.

On that occasion, Rudi met Syamsul Lussa and several officials at the Ministry, such as the head of the Bureau of Law and a few others. According to Rudi, he was reprimanded for screening a film that had not passed censorship and gave a bad name to Indonesia in the eyes of the world. Rudi had to meet Syamsul Lussa a second time later that year in Malang, East Java. The film had been banned by LSF by this time. Rudi tried to explain the film’s importance as various festivals had selected it and it even won the New Asian Currents Award at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, one of the most prestigious documentary film festivals in the world. But according to Syamsul Lussa, it was not relevant. Prison and Paradise had made the Ministry of Tourism and Culture receive an unwanted protest from the Embassy of Indonesia in Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
Later I spoke to Syamsul Lussa about this meeting. He said that Rudi was reckless with his film on two points. First, the film was released without a censorship certificate, and second – this surprised me – Rudi never registered his film with the Minister of Culture before production, as in the Film Act of 2009 (article 17 paragraph 1) regarding the obligation to register a film, in order to protect the film from plagiarism in the title and story (as stated in Article 17 paragraph 3). I can certainly understand the point concerning the absence of the censorship letter (though I do not agree with the letter and the reprimand), but if he was blamed for not registering his film to the Minister of Culture, I think that rule is being used wrongfully.

The registration of films is one of the problematic rules in the Film Act. Will we keep using this law to admonish filmmakers who have a different viewpoint from the government?
Syamsul Lussa refused to acknowledge that what he did was an effort to control what has been made by filmmakers. He said that what happened to Rudi and Prison and Paradise is an attempt to guide the filmmaker. Hmm, I did not expect us to go back to a time when the Ministry of Information would give  us “coaching”.



Daniel Rudi Haryanto was worried about speaking too strongly in defending the film, Prison and Paradise, when he was finishing his second film. As he said, if he resisted, there was a chance that the film could have difficulties passing censorship in the future. It seems that the country has not yet succeeded in eliminating fears about creativity and in many cases, these fears have increased.

The LSF continues to operate in a nebulous bureaucracy, whether they are under the Ministry of Tourism and the Creative Economy or within the Ministry of Education and Culture?

The stewardship of LSF led by Mukhlis Paeni will expire in 2012. There are many issues that need change. For example, two important changes would be:

–        the transparency in the election of 17 members of the LSF (no longer 45 as it is not in accordance to the Film Act 2009)

–        and the transparency decision-making mechanisms within the institution.


Translated from Bahasa Indonesia by Philip Cheah. Thanks Philip!

Ciutan tentang Room 237


Hubungan manusia dan sinema itu memang tak terduga. Tak selalu ada sensibilitas, dan kita girang karenanya ‪#room237

Tak adanya sensibilitas ini menimbulkan istilah cultism, sebuah upaya memahami obsesi yg meminggirkan reason ‪#room237

Posisi cultism jadi pinggiran krn ada konotasi pra-reason, obsesif dan emosional, argumen yg dibangun arbitrary sekali ‪#room237

‪#room237 dipenuhi obsesi dan argumen berdasar inferensi, memaksakan kaitan antara 2 hal yg kecil sekali kemungkinan hubungannya

‪#room237 seperti merayakan obsesi itu seperti sebuah pornografi, ada fetisisme dari sang filmmaker thd argumen2 yg tak masuk akal..

Sampai di situ, tiba2 ‪#room237 mengingatkan saya terhadap The Act of Killing. Beda dlm subyek dan cara pandang, tapi punya kesamaan..

‪#room237 dan The Act of Killing sama2 lingering terhadap absennya sensibilitas. Keduanya sama berpusar pada sinema dlm menyajikan subyeknya

‪#room237 dan TAoK sama dlm melihat sinema: medium itu dipakai dlm usaha make sense thd kehidupan, terutama thd obsesi dan “kegilaan”

Dokumenter macam ‪#room237 dan TAoK jd tanda epos baru sinema: intertextuality, self-referential, mediatized experience utk memahami dunia


INDONÉSIE • “Les Versets de l’amour” enflamment les salles obscures

Comment imaginer un film d’amour à la sauce islam ? En reprenant les ficelles classiques du trio amoureux musulman. Les jeunes urbains et la classe moyenne attachée à la religion sont séduits.


La dernière œuvre du réalisateur Hanung Bramantyo, Les Versets de l’amour [Ayat-Ayat Cinta], est un phénomène nouveau dans le cinéma indonésien [le film a fait plus de 3 millions d’entrées depuis sa sortie, il y a deux mois]. Elle est le signe d’une transformation toute récente du discours sur l’islam en Indonésie car, jusque-là, les films à coloration musulmane ne prenaient pas l’amour pour thème principal.

Dans les années 1990, la création de l’Association indonésienne des intellectuels musulmans (ICMI) avait marqué l’entrée de la communauté musulmane dans le débat citoyen. A cette même époque, l’apparition de téléfilms à coloration religieuse et de groupes de musique islamique à succès comme Opick et Hadad Alwi indiquait la percée d’une culture musulmane dans le grand public. Et, de fait, les nouveaux réseaux de communication et le développement de produits culturels ont alors favorisé la pénétration des enseignements de l’islam dans de nouvelles strates de la société. S’imposa alors la nécessité d’adapter les enseignements de l’islam aux besoins du marché. Un simple exemple : à ses débuts, la musique nasyid [chant musulman a cappella] refusait l’emploi de tout instrument, mais, dans les années 2000, des groupes nasyid ont introduit certains instruments, à commencer par des percussions. On note là une certaine habileté a épouser son époque.

Tout cela explique l’actuel succès, phénoménal, du long-métrage Les Versets de l’amour. Le réalisateur, Hanung Bramantyo, n’est pourtant pas connu pour être un cinéaste spécialisé dans la culture pop islamique. Il a tourné une série de films d’amours adolescentes, d’horreur ou des comédies légères.

Un nouveau genre est né : le film conformiste islamique

Les Versets de l’amour prouvent qu’une œuvre produite sans intention de ­propagande religieuse est accueillie triomphalement par le public. Par tous les publics. Lorsque je suis allé voir ce film, j’étais assis dans la salle entre un groupe de femmes voilées qui sortaient d’une rencontre de lecture du Coran et des lycéennes en short. Et, de chaque côté, certaines spectatrices avaient les larmes aux yeux à la fin de la projection.

Fahri, le héros de l’intrigue, étudie à l’université Al-Azhar [Le Caire], mais, dans le film, on ne le voit jamais absorbé dans ses études. Son professeur de théologie n’est là que pour le conseiller dans ses affaires amoureuses car l’étudiant n’arrête pas de recevoir des lettres de jeunes femmes qui lui déclarent leur passion. Un jour, dans le train, Fahri défend une Occidentale maltraitée par un Egyptien. Son intervention se prolonge en un débat sur la religion, proche d’un prêche à la mosquée. A la suite de cette diatribe, il rencontre Aisha, qu’il épouse rapidement. Dans le même temps, le jeune homme se lie d’amitié avec Maria Girgis, une Copte, et leur relation se transforme vite en histoire d’amour. SelonLes Versets de l’amour, une relation amicale entre un homme et une femme ne peut exister sans relation sexuelle. C’est là, alors que Fahri décide de choisir la polygamie, que le mélodrame amoureux et les valeurs de l’islam se rencontrent. Dans le roman qui inspire le film, il n’est pas raconté que Fahri, Aisha et Maria vivent ensemble sous le même toit. Mais, dans le film, les scènes de vie commune à trois exposent la souffrance d’Aisha et provoquent soit la compassion, soit la colère des spectateurs, selon la façon dont ils considèrent la polygamie et le “sacrifice de la femme”.

Malgré les apparences, Fahri ressemble à Si Boy, le héros archétypal du cinéma indonésien des années 1980 et du début des années 1990. Tous deux sont aimés par plusieurs femmes, et tous deux étudient à l’étranger, Fahri en Egypte, Si Boy en Amérique. Le lieu des études représente l’inclination idéo­logique de deux générations ­différentes. Ce qui les rapproche néanmoins est leur passivité face aux problèmes sociaux et politiques de leur pays. Si Boy est né des feuilletons diffusés par la radio Prambors, qui étaient très écoutés par les ados des années 1980, Fahri a grandi, lui, en lisant les récits publiés dans Republika,le quotidien qui relaie les voix de la communauté musulmane urbaine et orthodoxe. Tous deux sont nés d’une culture marginale qui devient populaire et même emblématique de la jeunesse indonésienne. Dans les années 1980, Si Boy est apparu alors que l’“ordre nouveau” [doctrine du régime Suharto] réprimait les mouvements étudiants et tentait de brider la société civile en imposant une idéologie uniforme.

Fahri, lui, n’a pas connu ce genre de problème. Il est né dans un contexte de liberté d’expression. Toutefois, il ne s’implique dans aucune cause de son pays. L’Egypte représente un sanctuaire destiné précisément à le tenir à l’écart de tous les problèmes sociaux et politiques qu’il devrait immanquablement affronter s’il se trouvait en Indonésie.
Si, sous l’ordre nouveau, c’était le pouvoir totalitaire qui forçait les cinéastes à faire des compromis, aujourd’hui c’est la toute-puissance du marché qui dicte sa loi. Il faut s’attendre, vu le succès des Versets de l’amour, à ce que nos cinémas soient inondés ­pro­chainement par ce genre de films conformistes à coloration islamique. (accessed 23 Jan 2013)

Personalized and Depersonalized Memory of Places

Short note of the Museum of Innocence and Postcards from The Zoo[1]

When I visited to the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul, one display attracted my interest more than the rests. It was display No. 32, titled “The Shadows and Ghosts I Mistook for Füsun”, taken from a chapter with the same name of the novel. It was a black and white map of Istanbul exhibited in the wall with tiny pink figures of Füsun (the novel’s heroine which is also the desired object of Kemal Bey, the protagonist) were pin up and each figure was numbered. The numbers refer to small photograph (approx. 10X10 cm) located in the periphery depicting detailed-photo of each location with the same figure of Füsun placed in. The map of Istanbul becomes dichromatic rather than simply black and white, thanks to Füsun figures.

Remnants of upperclass Istanbul are displayed in The Museum of Innocence to describe the lifestyle or the city’s particular era.

These tiny figures symbolize Istanbul in personal viewpoint of the novel protagonist, Kemal Bey. This chapter appeared after Kemal’s separation from Füsun (No.30, “Füsun Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), and his intentional abstinence towards meeting her (No.31, “The Streets That Remind me of Her”) in which he marked Istanbul map with different colors to avoid him seeing everything that reminds him of Füsun. But Kemal’s denial was useless. Rather, he “sees” Füsun everywhere, in every occasion. Füsun “appears” in every direction he faces, while in fact Füsun is never there for him. He mistook shadows and ghosts as Füsun, as his obsession towards her grown uncontrollable. Kemal Bey, an honorable member of Istanbul’s upper class, has become obsessed with Füsun. This has distracted his view on his city. No places in Istanbul are free from Kemal Bey’s longing and obsession on Füsun. Istanbul, then, is defined as collection of places permeated with personal memories and remembrances.

This has taken me to other place, the Ragunan Zoo of Jakarta, the place of which Edwin’s[2] latest film, Postcards from the Zoo, is set. Postcards tells a story of Lana, a girl who was left alone in the zoo by his parent when she was three. Since then, Lana doesn’t have any remembrances of anything outside the zoo. The zoo becomes her world. She only meets animals and people in the same state with her: dislocated from their original habitat, whether it is the jungle or the society. In the place where the inhabitants are socially dislocated, Lana’s world becomes arbitrary. She has no attachment to any distinct socio-political world outside the zoo’s realm. Lana is a person uprooted from any social and political ground par excellence. Therefore no particular places can be attributed to her existence or remembrance of her, because nobody around her lives with social background to connect her to the world outside the zoo.

There is a slight acknowledgment to an actual place, the Ragunan Zoo of Jakarta, in the Postcards, but for me the zoo is merely a metaphor for a place where its inhabitants are socially-dislocated-creatures rather than a real zoo. In this situation, Edwin creates some short scenes in Postcards that show a total opposite to the Display No.32 of The Museum of Innocence. In those scenes Lana is placed among the impersonal zoo visitors in a “Where is Wally?”-fashion. After watching the scenes for a while, we can find Lana among the crowd, staring back to the camera, to the audience, to us. Here, the audience gazes into faceless crowd in arbitrary places only to find an impersonal character staring back at them without emotion.

This film tells a lyrical tale about the uprooted people.

The arbitrary character of the zoo has made the place in Postcards become depersonalized, detach from any connection to any personal memory. Lana is there without connection to her surrounding. She is just being there and unrelated to anybody in the film’s diegetic. No personal memory or social and political connections are relevant for her existence. On the other hand, we, the audience in that particular scene, tries to find a known face in the crowd, Lana’s face, but when it was found, we realize it has no significance to us outside the film’s diegetic. We cannot relate Lana to anything besides her uprooted-ness from anything outside her existence.

It is interesting to talk about this further in relation to contemporary Indonesian cinema because Postcards is not the first Indonesian film with intentional detachment to actual places in Indonesia. Before this, Joko Anwar’s films also come with sets that the audience should not bother to relate to actual places. Gareth Evans’ The Raid also called by Roger Ebert as “a movie whose story that can happens in any country in the world”. Questions popped up into my mind. Have places are now free from their connection to personal memory in contemporary Indonesia? Have Indonesians become uprooted individuals whose personal remembrances of places are insignificant for their existence? This triggers further question about collective memories, are they still useful for defining commonalities (such as shared-places for example) of Indonesia? Or is it the cinema has lost its function for new generation of Indonesian filmmakers in carrying ideas on personal and collective remembrances and other commonalities? This can go on limitless.

At this stage I have to be satisfied with comparison of The Museum of Innocence and Postcards from the Zoo and leave those questions unanswered. Maybe I won’t answer those questions altogether and let some younger Indonesian film critics to do that instead.

[1] I have discussed some of the thoughts here with özlem Mertel, and also with my co-visitors of the museum, Sashenka Lleshaj and Iliada Korçari. However I am responsible for whatever is written here.

[2] Edwin is young Indonesian filmmaker whose film, Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly traveled to more than 45 festivals around the world. His name also listed in the 100 future filmmakers in the book Take 100: The Future of The Film, 100 Directors (Phaidon: 2010). His latest film, Postcards from the Zoo was screened in competition section of Berlinale 2012.

The Museum of Innocence

Apakah The Museum of Innocence adalah sebuah museum?

Pertanyaan itu terjadi dalam diskusi pendek saya dengan Ozlem Mertel, seorang mahasiswa museologi Universitas Bilgi, Istanbul, yang juga staf Open Society Foundation yang sehari-hari membantu kami menjalani kegiatan summer course ini. Dalam kunjungan bersama dengan instrukturnya, Ozlem bercerita bahwa diskusi seperti itu juga terjadi dan akhirnya sang instruktur menyimpulkan bahwa The Museum of Innocence bisa dibilang sebuah museum.

Sayang sekali saya tak tahu bagaimana diskusi itu terjadi, tapi kunjungan saya ke museum itu sedikit membuat saya sedikit bertanya: ini museum atau bukan. The Museum of Innocence atau Masumiyet Müzesi dalam bahasa Turki adalah judul sebuah novel karya Orhan Pamuk. Saya sudah membaca bukunya sejak di Jakarta dan tak tahu persis bahwa museum itu sungguh ada di Istanbul, Turki. Setelah saya tahu bahwa museum itu benar-benar ada, maka saya langsung berpikiran untuk mengunjunginya. Museum atau bukan, yang jelas pengalaman ke The Museum of Innocence ini adalah salah satu pengalaman terbaik saya dalam mengunjungi museum.

Museum itu terletak di Jalan Çukurcuma, sebuah jalan kecil di daerah Beyoğlu, Istanbul, tersambung dengan Jalan Istiklal, salah satu kawasan turis utama di Istanbul. Museum itu seperti sebuah rumah lain saja di kawasan itu, tak ada yang membedakan kecuali warnanya yang merah dan tulisan Masumiyet Müzesi  di atasnya. Tentu saja museum itu seperti layaknya rumah lain saja karena ide dasar museum itu memang dulunya berasal dari rumah milik keluarga Fusun yang dikunjungi oleh tokoh utama novel tersebut.

Yang menarik adalah kita bisa masuk museum itu dengan membawa novelnya. Kita cukup menunjukkan halaman dimana terdapat gambar tiket museum itu (dan percakapan dalam novel tokoh Kemal Bey menyatakan kepada Orhan Pamuk bahwa ia akan mendirikan museum tersebut) dan mendapatkan stempel di novel itu. Kemudian kita diberi tiket untuk masuk ke dalam.

Pajangan pertama di lantai dasar museum itu sudah amat menarik secara visual (sayang sekali tak boleh menggunakan kamera, bahkan handphone di dalam museum) yaitu puntung rokok bekas hisap yang dipajang di dinding dari lantai ke langit-langit. Puntung rokok itu diletakkan di dalam kaca, ditempel dengan jarum. Di bawah puntung itu terdapat catatan-catatan kecil, tulisan tangan, dari Orhan Pamuk tentang kenangan Kemal Bey sepanjang tahun 1975 hingga 2005. Jumlah persis puntung itu adalah 4.213, masing-masing dilengkapi dengan catatan-catatan kecil. Ini menjadi metode utama presentasi museum tersebut: detil yang masif tentang hal-hal yang mungkin kita buang dalam kehidupan nyata sehari-hari. Museum ini seperti sedang membangun narasi dari remah-remah yang tertinggal oleh gaya hidup dan keseharian kita: sesuatu yang bisa kita temui juga dalam novel Pamuk itu.

Pajangan di museum itu dibuat berdasarkan pembagian bab yang ada di dalam novel. Novel itu ada 83 bab, berawal dari “The Happiest Moment in My Life” hingga “Happiness” di bab terakhir. Karena rentang waktu novel itu cukup panjang (berawal dari 1975 dan berakhir di tahun 2005, maka tiap bab seperti mencatat momen-momen penting pada masa tersebut. Pamuk mencatat dengan amat teliti gaya hidup kelas atas Istanbul di masa itu, dan bagaimana mereka berhubungan dengan kelas pekerja yang secara sosial berada jauh di bawahnya. Tokoh dalam novel, Kemal Bey, adalah seorang yang berasal dari keluarga kaya yang jatuh cinta pada seorang gadis bernama Fusun, padahal Kemal sudah bertunangan dengan seorang perempuan dari kelasnya juga, Sibel.

Novel ini mengisahkan dengan rinci bagaimana Kemal Bey berusaha mendekati Fusun setiap hari selama bertahun-tahun. “Mendekati” mungkin pada akhirnya bukan kata yang tepat, karena selama masa yang panjang itu Kemal Bey seperti mengetahui secara rinci kehidupan Fusun, dan itulah yang memang ingin diceritakan oleh Orhan Pamuk. Ia seperti sedang mengajak kita melihat sebuah etalase kehidupan pribadi, hubungan yang unik antara dua orang, tapi lebih dari itu, bagaiman seseorang diperlakukan sebagai obyek oleh orang lain. Fusun adalah obyek perhatian, cinta, dan juga pada saat yang sama pameran “kekuasaan” dan keberdayaan Kemal Bey akan apa yang diinginkannya.

Tapi, apa sesungguhnya yang diinginkan oleh Kemal Bey? Hubungannya dengan Fusun tidak pernah beranjak mendekati pernikahan, karena posisi Kemal Bey agak sulit mengingat bahwa ia mengkhianati tunangan sekaligus calon istirnya, Sibel, yang berasal dari lingkungan dan kelas sosial yang sama. “Pengkhianatan” Kemal terhadap hubungannya dengan SIbel merupakan juga runtuhnya bangunan status sosial yang menopangnya selama ini karena, ia pelan-pelan mulai ditinggalkan dan meninggalkan keluarga dan teman-temannya. Kemal membuat alasan demi alasan untuk berada terus di dekat Fusun. Pembicaraan tentang pernikahan tidak terjadi, dan hubungan mereka tak beranjak dari kunjungan demi kunjungan setiap malam.

Museum itu sendiri diceritakan dalam novel tersebut. Kemal Bey menjadi terobsesi pada Fusun dan mulai mengumpulkan segala macam benda yang berkaitan dengan Fusun. Menjelang akhir hayatnya, Kemal Bey sempat berbincang dengan penulis novel ini  –dan ini menjadi bagian dari cerita–  Orhan Pamuk untuk membuka museum of innocence dimana segala macam barang ini dipajang di sana. Maka Orhan Pamuk pun kemudian membuka museum ini sesuai dengan pesan Kemal Bey. Jadilah museum ini berdiri di jalan Çukurcuma, berada di rumah yang pernah menjadi bekas rumah keluarga Fusun.

Tempat untuk stempel The Museum of Innocence ada dalam cerita novel ini

Dalam konteks pusaran itu, The Museum of Innocence waktu yang disusun kronologis dalam novel dan museum seperti diberi catatan kaki: bahwa waktu bisa berhenti dan tak bermakna ketika perhatian pada detil terjadi dengan masif. Pada bab berjudul “Sometimes”, Pamuk sengaja bermain-main dengan”menghentikan” waktu dan berpusar pada kebiasaan-kebiasaan yang dilihat oleh Kemal Bey dalam bertahun-tahun mengunjungi rumah Fusun. Waktu jadi ditandai oleh remeh-temeh, pernak-pernik gaya hidup kelas bawah keluarga Fusun yang diamati oleh Kemal Bey (dan Orhan Pamuk). Bab yang dalam novel seluruh kalimatnya diawali dengan kata “Sometimes”, di museum itu diubah jadi benda-benda kecil, yang pada setiap bendanya dipasangi kalimat-kalimat kutipan novel tersebut. Inilah obyektifikasi yang termasuk paling istimewa bagi saya karena menisbikan waktu, membuatnya jadi kumpulan momen yang bersambungan; sedangkan tiap momen itu selalu terhubung dengan kenangan pribadi atasnya. Kenangan yang subyektif diubah oleh Pamuk menjadi obyektif karena selalu dikaitkan dengan amatannya terhadap hidup Fusun dan keluarganya!

Sekalipun waktu bisa ‘dihentikan’ begitu rupa oleh Pamuk, tapi museum ini tidak berniat untuk merayakan keabadian, justru sebaliknya. Pamuk menegaskan bahwa para tokoh dalam novel itu adalah manusia dan mereka sedemian rupa terhenti oleh waktu. Di lantai paling atas, terdapat klimaks museum tersebut: tempat tidur Kemal Bey yang katanya tinggal di tempat itu pada akhir-akhir hidupnya. Pada akhirnya waktu lah yang menjadi penghubung antara manusia sebagai subyek yang mengamati dengan obyeknya, dan tempat tidur itu seperti sebuah monumen besar bagi berhentinya waktu bagi sang subyek. Pengamatan harus berakhir juga.

Berjalan sekitar 45 menit di museum tersebut terasa tak cukup. Kelewat banyak detil yang disajikan, dan ini sebenarnya konsisten belaka dengan apa yang disajikan oleh Pamuk pada novelnya. The Museum of Innocence adalah pameran detil yang masif, mencoba menghadirkan masa lalu, tidak menjadikannya sebagai vintage, melainkan sebagai kumpulan obyek yang ‘tak berdosa’ dan menantikan para pembacanya untuk menafsirkan, memberi makna dan ‘mengobyektifikasi’ mereka sebagai benda-benda yang membawa ke dalam semacam mesin waktu. Namun bisakah kita mengobyektifikasi benda-benda itu mengingat bahwa mereka berputar di sekitar hidup Fusun? Lebih penting lagi: bisakah kita berada pada posisi untuk mengobyektifikasi tanpa mengingat peran penting Kemal Bey yang melangkah satu arah begitu saja ke dalam hidup Fusun? Kemudian: bisakah obyektifikasi itu hadir ke hadapan kita tanpa adanya Orhan Pamuk sebagai penulis yang mengantarai hidup orang-orang itu dengan kita sebagai pembaca, baik pembaca novel maupun “pembaca” museum itu sendiri?

Maka bisakah museum itu, yang berisi benda-benda yang dibuang dalam kehidupan sehari-hari, menjadi sebuah museum di kota seperti Istanbul, kota yang pernah menjadi ibukota 3 kekaisaran besar dalam sejarah manusia? Apa makna benda remeh temeh kontemporer dibandinkan kota yang nyaris setiap bangunannya begitu spektakuler dan masih menjadi museum yang tak pernah mati? Maka saya melihat The Museum of Innocence  lebih mirip seperti perpanjangan narasi Orhan Pamuk tentang Istanbul yang sudah dimulai dengan novelnya.

Film Pendek Indonesia Hingga Kini – Pabrik Dodol, Ari Rusyadi (@arirusyadi)

Dengan cepat semacam romantisme dualisme ekonomi terbaca pada perendengan dua metode produksi dodol ini. Satu adalah produksi rumahan yang berskala ekonomi kecil, sedangkan satu lagi adalah model produksi pabrikan yang modern dengan skala ekonomi dan pasar yang lebih besar. Awalnya saya berharap bahwa Ari Rusyadi tidak sedang menampilkan dualisme model ekonom JH Boeke yang menandang Hindia Belanda terbagi dalam dua model produksi yang sama kuatnya: industri rumahan yang tak mengenal pembagian kerja dan abai terhadap ekspansi pasar (dan komunitas sebagai penopangnya), dan industri modern dengan mesin produksi dan manajemen yang kaku (dan masyarakat terorganisir sebagai landasannya). Namun ternyata romantisme Ari Rusyadi bahkan berjalan hingga ke aspek lain; perhatikan baik-baik.

Musik film ini juga mengandung dualisme: musik ritmis yang riang dan berkesan akrab dalam model produksi tradisional dan musik industrial yang kaku, dingin bahkan sedikit mengerikan dalam model produksi modern. Perhatikan juga senyum mengembang dan candaan para pekerja di pabrik tradisional di satu sisi serta suasana repetisi yang dramatis untuk menekankan sifat “moloch” mesin yang sudah tampil sejak film Metropolis-nya Fritz Lang (1927).

Saya juga ingin mencatat editing film ini yang amat taat menganut continuity ruang dan waktu model Hollywood pada bagian pertama dan kedua ketika masing-masing pabrik dodol itu direndengkan. Susunan close-up dan establish shoot memperlihatkan adanya kesatuan ruang-waktu yang padu dan kaku. Namun pada bagian tiga ketika kedua model produksi ini digabung, montase yang muncul juga mengesankan model montase menjelang klimaks film pada model neo-klasik Hollywood ketimbang montase yang asosiatif.

Namun saya amat menyukai ritme editing film ini, selain komposisi gambarnya yang luar biasa. Maka secara keseluruhan, pabrik dodol adalah sebuah tamasya audio visual yang manis dan menyenangkan.