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Q&A with Director ‘Badrun & Laundry’ Garin Nugroho

Garin Nugroho’s new film tells the story of Badrun who uses the clothes he finds in a laundry bag to assume various guises in the village. It is a sharp political allegory of what ails Indone- sia today.

Garin Nugroho:

I’m honest, lonely, and angry with what is happening to our country. We knew this movie would not be popular, even later in Banjarmasin. But in my opinion, even the smallest voice must be heard. Even though it is as soft as crickets or the sound of the night, it will become the orchestration of the nation in the dark. And Mr Ali’s act of killing himself is symbolic of our despair at our condition. Because we are forced to be silent and people shamelessly justify themselves. The village reflects our socio-political world. There are many people whose fam- ilies die like Mr Ali; his son died for an unknown reason, and no one defended him.

The Kalimantan area has the richest forests and minerals, and when the people go in, it will be destroyed, and I was aware of the dangers of making the movie,.
Why did I kill Pak Ali’s character? Because part of the life of this nation has actually commit- ted suicide without being able to protest against corruption and beyond caring how many people die.

Comment from Sakdiyah Ma’ruf (female stand-up comedian)

I express my highest appreciation to Mr Garin and the team for this heartfelt film. Not only is it a beautiful film; for me it is a very important film because it is very very loud.
Even though there are elements of comedy, some things reflect my concerns and I convey them in my comedy as well. But later the film gets harder as it criticizes so many things that are happening in Indonesia today, such as politics, religion, corruption, terrorism, and sexual harassment. Nothing is spared. It is all about our sick nation. I relate most to the character of Pak Ali, who feels like all of us, forced to witness everything that is happening in our nation, without being able to say anything.

News Contributor: Wong Tuck Cheong

Photos: JAFF Documentation Team