November, 30 2015
The Fallen 'It' Mystery: Lifting Taboos on Contraception

A short movie highlights common prejudice and stereotypes surrounding the topic of contraception in cheeky manner.

by Ayunda Nurvitasari, Reporter/Social Media Manager
Culture
Share:
When it comes to contraception, most Indonesians still treat it as a taboo subject. Those who openly discuss it risk being labeled promiscuous.
 
To address this issue, Global Dialogues, a joint international youth initiative, held a competition to bring the youths together in exploring sexual and reproductive health and rights issues. The contest aims to encourage young people to express their idea or experience through arts on a variety of topics, including sexuality, drugs, alcohol, violence against women and children, HIV/AIDS, sexual orientation and gender identity.
 
Global Dialogues competition was held simultaneously in three countries: Indonesia, Kenya and Guatemala. Dubbed “Dialog Muda” in Indonesia, the initiative groups Hivos Southeast Asia as the national coordinator, and Pamflet and GWLmuda as implementing partners. Dialog Muda provides a platform young people in Indonesia to share their perspective and break the ice on taboo subjects. The contestants submitted their written works, which were the selected by the National Jury. The best one was to be adapted into a Dialog Muda short movie by Indonesian emerging cinema talent.
 
This year’s winner is Utomo Priyambodo was adapted into the movie Misteri Anu Jatuh (The Fallen ‘It’) Mystery) directed by Sammaria Simanjutak. The movie highlighted the common prejudice and stereotypes on the topic of contraception, in  attempt to explore sexual and reproductive health and right issues.
 
The short movie is set at a fictional establishment, presumably a hotel or restaurant, called the “Righteous Mansion” or Wisma Bermartabat, the latter is also an acronym of Indonesian words for “clean, prosperous, devoted, and friendly”. The film begins when the mansion “was tainted” after the servants found an “it” on the floor. Thence, they began an investigation into each of their guests, who come in all forms, to find out which of them would dare perform such a “perverted act”.
 


The “it” was neither ever shown, nor described in word, to show how society tends to approach the issue in a hush-hush, but judgmental ways. The film aims to educate its audience by refuting common prejudices in the gentlest way possible because “if it’s still difficult to understand, try not to judge.”
 
Watch this movie and find out to whom ‘it’ actually belongs.



 
Ayunda is interested in the intersection of pop culture, media, and gender issues. She earned her master's degree at Cultural Studies department, University of Indonesia. She is into Lana Del Rey, speculative fiction, and BoJack Horseman. Her own social media sites, however, are quite uneventful, but feel free to say hi: facebooktwitter.