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Indonesian short film premiers at 2016 Venice International Film Festival

Asmara Wreksono
Asmara Wreksono

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, September 11, 2016  /  01:48 pm
Indonesian short film premiers at 2016 Venice International Film Festival

'On the Origin of Fear', produced by KawanKawan Film and LimaEnamFilms, will compete against six other films at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival. (Yulia Evina Bhara/-)

An Indonesian short film titled On the Origin of Fear, produced by KawanKawan Film and LimaEnamFilms, will compete against six other films at the 2016 Venice International Film Festival in Sala Giardino, Venice, Italy.

Director Bayu Prihantoro Filemon said in a statement, “I am really happy to see an Indonesian film compete in this prestigious festival. I dedicate On the Origin of Fear to Indonesia’s younger generation. It’s about me and my generation, about how we are witnesses to the government’s version of the 1965 tragedy, which was built up through a cinematic reproduction of terror and fear.”

“I think we all have to be big-hearted enough to accept that there are alternative narratives about the 1965 tragedy, including narratives from the younger generation,” he added.

(Read also: Indonesian short film selected for Venice festival)

On the Origin of Fear tells the story of a film dubber who plays the voice of both victim and torturer at the same time. The short film was inspired by the director’s trauma from watching G30SPKI Treachery, directed by Arifin C Noer, which was compulsory viewing for students in the New Order era.

On the Origin of Fear, supported by the heritage and cultural diplomacy directorate at the Culture and Education Ministry, will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival. Amerta Kusuma and Yulia Evina Bhara, both producers, stated that the film was a form of diplomacy with the outside world, one that describes the current situation in Indonesia.

(Read also: Two Indonesian films to be screened at 69th Locarno Film Festival)

Amerta Kusuma added, “We encourage everyone to watch the film, with the hope that it opens up a discussion where we can speak about our dark history in a light manner. Knowing our own history will help the next generation move forward. This film is dedicated to the victims who relentlessly fight for justice. We hope they are happy with the film.”

Actor Pritt Timoty, who plays a central role in the film, expressed his surprise at the audience’s reception of his acting,

“A lot of audience members came up to me, telling me they liked the film. They asked for photographs and asked about my experience in the film," he said.