Perempuan Bahu Laweyan
Minah (60), a snack seller at cemetery in Imogiri Yogyakarta. Minah lives alone and hasn’t got married yet. She believes a big mole on her left shoulder is its cause. The mole makes people believe that Minah is “Perempuan Bahu Laweyan”, which mean a woman that will bring the bad luck even the death to a man who married her. Minah doesn’t believe with this nonsense. Meanwhile, Rusmin (70), a custodian of king’s cemetery in Imogiri who also Minah’s neighbor, has just lost his beloved wife. Feeling lonely, Rusmin starts to visit Minah’s snack stall frequently, even though just for a chat. This is a new for Minah, get attention from a man. She feels very happy and falls in love with Rusmin. However, Rusmin has another reason approaching Minah. He wants to die quickly and following his wife. Rusmin believes that Minah can make what he wants it will happen faster with her Bahu Laweyan curse. How disappointed Minah knows about that. Unfortunately, Rusmin already make Minah could find her own way of life. Mina chooses to forgive Rusmin and helps him to pass his depression. Minah believes that Rusmin just feel lonely and depression.
An affair between Minah and Rusmin causes a conflict in their village. Even they talk to Minah about the curse directly. Tatik, Minah’s young sister, knows what happened to Minah. Tatik is religious woman who believe in nothing about the myth accused to Minah. Tatik feels sympathetic to her sister because she feel people in the village isolated Minah. She tried many times to ask Minah lives together with her in the city. But Minah always refuses. Secretly, Minah still has a hope to Rusmin and wants to struggle for him.
But one day, Rusmin makes a big mistake when he’s doing a ritual “nguras receh” (clean up a holy jar in the King’s cemetery). Since then, Rusmin always makes mistakes at work. His memory is getting weak and weak. Then Kraton, the palace, dismiss him. This news is heard by all the people in the village quickly. Many people think what happened to Rusmin is caused by Minah. And Minah denies all accuses and still not believe in the myth about herself. He believe that what happened with Rusmin is caused by his depression so makes him losing his memory (as we known as Alzheimer). Minah put all of her hopes to Rusmin and his recovery. So she decides to takes care Rusmin. Unfortunately, Rusmin condition get worse. Rusmin lose his memory slowly. He also shows weird acts such a talking with himself, crying, and laughing. Minah feels worry and afraid if the myth that always she denied is true. Many people in the village ask Minah to get away from Rusmin.
Minah who feels desperately tries many ways to get rid of her curse: drinks holy water from the cemetery, meets the priest, even she prays in the cemetery. Minah always prays for Rusmin gets well or ask his illness can be moved to her. Minah begins blaming herself and makes her falling off from the cemetery staircase. She’s got brain concussion and she lost all memory, also about Rusmin. Minah no longer comes and taking care Rusmin while at home he loses all his memory too. Rusmin always wait for someone who never he knows, yet he wait for, Minah.
There’s many directors that influences my style in directing, but amongst them, the most influential directors are Turkish and Iran’s directors like Asghar Farhadi, Abbas Kiarostami, and Semih Kaplanoglu. Their films are simple and realistic but full of meanings and close to our everyday life. One thing that I noticed in their films was their films mostly based on religious aspect, but none of their film talks about religion and they used social value to deliver their premises.
The difference between Iranian and Turkish films with this film is in their films mostly consist of conflict between religious aspect with real life problems, but in this film, the main conflict is between religious aspect represented by Minah with cultural aspect and real life problems.
Simplicity is the keyword in this film visual aspect, no major camera movement and no artificial camera angle. But in the opposite of simplicity in visual aspect, characters and conflicts in this film will be more complicated. The character of Minah will be the representative of realistic side of the film, on the contrary, the character of Rusmin will be the implementation of cultural side and majority people of Imogiri, the tomb of kings. This film will consist of three conflicts, inner conflict between Minah’s principle and the myth of “perempuan bahu laweyan”, personal conflict between Minah’s intention to Rusmin and Rusmin’s intention to Minah, and lastly extra-personal conflict between Minah and Rusmin’s relationship and majority people of Imogiri, the tomb of kings.
Najam Yardo was born in Sukabumi in 1991. He is currently a senior year student at Jogja Film Academy majoring in Directing. His interest in art scene began with music, and now he is going deep into film. His filmography includes Survive (2011), Shadow Reunion (2012), Slaughter (2014), Jadi Siapa yang Kaya (2015), Besok… Aku Menikah (2016), Sekian Malam yang Pertama (2017), and Lebaran (2017).
Evan Secunda was born on 20 April 1991 and raised in Jakarta. His family brings out his interest in audiovisual media and lately in high school he was enamored of photography. He ends up being in the film industry. With his fondness of audiovisual scene and lessons acquired from both formal and informal schools—e.g. The Looop Akademie and Kelas Pagi Jakarta, he works as a photographer and a cinematographer in Jakarta. In 2014, he decided to move to Jogja for the sake of studing film at Jogja Film Academy. His filmography includes Rantang (dir., 2015), Lembayung (prod., 2017), and Taste of Life (DoP, 2017).