The number of audience members at the Minikino Film Therapy program held on Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Rumah Film Sang Karsa was 9 people.

After having watched 5 films as programmed in the Minikino Film Therapy, one of the viewers at Rumah Film Sang Karsa asked, “Which part of this is considered to be film as a therapy? Is this supposed to be a form of therapy for the viewers, director, or characters?”

As both the host and moderator, I took some time to think. “Has it been the characters or scenes that have been following my life?” I took a long pause and started to think back.


When Robert De Niro pointed his rifle at a deer in the film Deer Hunter and afterwards ended up not going through with the shooting, this was the moment that I remembered the most. A therapy to understand the feelings of other people.

When the gentleman, Bogart, let the girl he loved leave him behind with another man and then said “Now, now, here’s looking at you, kid”, in the film Casablanca, this scene has always been and will always be a therapy instrument for the situation if a girl I actually love ends up choosing someone else.

In his film entitled Play It Again, Sam, Woody Allen, who was both the director and actor, was truly therapized by the character of Bogart in Casablanca.

And now about 5 films in the Minikino Film Therapy program;

The opening film, ME, invites viewers to try understanding and relating to the feelings of the character. In this sense, the filmmaker intended to ease the suffering of the character in order to be able to overcome the reality as faced.

Furthermore, FRIED BARRY with its rather clamorous audio visual presentation style, which is surprising at times, is a film which generates terrifying feelings.

For those who don’t understand the dark world of narcotics and have always led a straight path in life, Fried Barry would seem like a meaningless outpouring.

However, for drug addicts who have experienced a period of detoxing, and have wished to end their drug adventure, this film can serve as a therapy which can become a starting point of a new beginning. It shows the courage of one fighting their own contaminated self.

This was followed by the film ESTELA, a story told in a Latin America telenovela style which has been very familiar in Indonesia. The story about pregnant Estela carries the telenovela values. It could be a starting point of an argument that the mood swings of a pregnant woman should be respected. A starting point where women started to be able to stand up against male domination. A small thing can induce a large matter. The desire of a pregnant woman must be respected. This story is so close to Indonesia where most men still believe that the matter of pregnancy is a female concern.

The next film is LITUANIA, the most terrifying and frightening film of all. The struggle of two characters for the entire season, dealing with something so bitter. This film was served in an excellent way. The film was delivered using intelligent language, which was effective. And by the end of the film, viewers will wonder, “why?”. Why couldn’t it be accepted?

Several of the viewers at Rumah Sang Karsa, most of them being members of a theater group who have just started watching unusual films, were drifting in their incomprehension.

And that is alright, because we watch films not with the purpose to comprehend them, but to NOT UNDERSTAND them. So, we watch movies to not get it, get it?

This program was closed by a film entitled AXIOM. In this act, we had to learn to deal with loss. The drums were beating, and many interpretations surfaced throughout the film. Opening the horizon of this short film. Such a beautiful time in the past changed into a season that was no longer wonderful or pleasant. Making peace with circumstances.
We often cry alone in a dark room with our own privacy which plays various scenes which has followed our life. In our mourning, we remember a lot of things which we have gone through with our loved ones. Many successful directors and artists have created films and songs as therapy. Art is an instrument of therapy to slip out from memories we simply can’t erase.

Not all five of the films screened at the Minikino Film Therapy were able to be digested by our viewers’ level of understanding. However, this is a medicine which effect can’t be felt immediately after we’ve taken it. It takes time for it to react; something that is stored in our subconscious mind, and would surface when the time is right.

Putu Kusuma Widjaja, (Writer, Film Director)
An alumnus of Amsterdam Hoogschool Voor Kunsten, directs and involves in various television and documentary productions. Social observer. An entrepreneur based and lives in Lovina, North Bali.



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