A number of intriguing phenomena can be observed in Indonesian film development throughout 2017. In terms of several indicators, such as the number of screens and audience, our cinematic landscape has grown. The number of films circulated in 2017, however, has seen a decline, albeit in an insignificant magnitude, when compared to 2016. Furthermore, if we see the decline of film circulation in 2017 in terms of audience segmentation, we could interpret the data positively.
Lab Laba Laba eschew digital technology. They work only with 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film. Their practice, as it remains militantly dedicated to the filmic strip, reveals the difficulties and complexities of the manner and means in which cinematic technology is instrumentalised for political purposes.
Efforts to reopen movie theaters in Aceh have been met with challenges from religious groups and local authorities. Their usual argument: movie theaters are opposed to the spirit of sharia, which stipulates that men and women should not sit side by side. However, what is foreign to Aceh is not movie theaters. It's their absence.