2003. Three Documentaries about Aceh by Aryo Danusiri

Three Documentaries about Aceh by Aryo Danusiri

The Village Goat Takes the Beating (1999) (47 mins)
The Poet of the Linge Homeland (2000) (25 mins)
Abrakadabra! (2003) (40 mins)

All on one DVD (PAL; No region coding) or VHS Tape (PAL or NTSC)

These three films about pre Tsunami Aceh by the young independent filmmaker, and former student of anthropology at the University of Indonesia, Aryo Danusiri, are among the most interesting of documentary films by young filmmakers to emerge in Indonesia since the fall of Suharto in 1998. B3W are releasing them together on one DVDand as one VHS tape.

The Village Goat Takes the Beating (1999)


Producer: Elsam (Lembaga Studi dan Advokasi Masyarakat)
Writer/Director : Aryo Danusiri
Music: Thoersi Argeswara 
Running Time
: 47 mins
Language: Acehnese and Indonesian with English subtitles

A mother grieves for her murdered<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />son as the story is told by a relative.
Victim points<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />out where atrocities occurred.

The Village Goat Takes the Beating, filmed in Aceh in late 1999, through lengthy interviews with victims or with relatives of deceased victims, and through partial re-enactments, records allegations of human right abuses perpetrated by the Indonesian army in Aceh during the 1990s, particularly in the Tiro subdistrict of Pidie, during the notorious DOM period, when under Suharto Aceh was first made an area of military operations (Daerah Operasi Militer) with the aim of suppressing GAM (Aceh Freedom Movement). The full meaning of the film’s title is contained within the Acehnese saying ‘the mountain goat eats the corn, the village goat takes the beating’, for it is claimed that the killings and torture by the army were frequently perpetrated on the villagers, rather than on GAM members.

The Poet of the Linge Homeland (2000)



Producer: Set Workshop and Ford Foundation
Director : Aryo Danusiri Supervising
Producer: Garin Nugroho Didong
Performance: the people of Pegasing, Central Aceh Running
Time : 25 mins
Language: Acehnese and Indonesian with English subtitles

Didong performance with Ibrahim Kabir.
Poster for<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />The Poet of the Linge Homeland with Kabir reciting.

The Poet of the Linge Homeland is a portrait of the Acehnese didong poet, Ibrahim Kadir. Danusiri’s short succinct portrait of Kabir explores his life within its context in the lake town of Takengon in the Gayo Highlands of Central Aceh: the evolution of his poetry from the period of his childhood; its relation to his sense of nature; the role of didong performances and competitions within Takengon society; the repressive political atmosphere of the period of his youth; and particularly the importance to Kabir of the preservation of indigenous performance forms, oral culture and rituals specific to Takengon; and of the dangers confronting the survival of such performance skills in a period where there is so much competition from technologically and electronically reproduced media.

(Ibrahim Kadir first came to international attention for his role as the poet in Eros Djarot’s 1987 film Tjoet Nja’ Dhien. In 2000 Garin Nugroho’s Puisi Tak Terkuburkan (‘Poetry Cannot be Buried’) in which Ibrahim Kabir appears in a central role, used Kabir’s recollections of 3 weeks as a prisoner (mistaken for a communist during the round up of October 1965) to dramatise the situation in the prisons at the time, as a way of mourning the killings of communists throughout Indonesia in 1965 and 1966, an issue which was not independently examined in film in Indonesia at any time in the next 35 years.)

Abrakadabra! (2003)



Producer: Tifa Foundation, Jakarta
Director: Aryo Danusiri
Music: Fahmi Alatas Running
Time: 40 mins Language: Acehnese and Indonesian with English subtitles

Acehnese women.
Aceh Mosque

The ironically titled Abrakadabra! explores the situation in Aceh in early 2003, just a few months before the Indonesian army returned to Aceh on 19 May 2003. The film examines the situation in Banda Aceh and Takengon, and also for refugees, that followed upon the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement between GAM and the representatives of the Indonesian government on 9 December 2002. In particularAbrakadabra! investigates the effectiveness for Acehnese citizens of measures put in place by this agreement: the establishment in all districts of Joint Security Committees (JSC )-consisting of representatives of both the Indonesian army and of GAM-whose designated role was to set up of ‘Zones of Peace’ and to investigate infringements to the peace agreement.