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Peak Islamic body supports ban on award winning film 'Memories of my Body'

Antara News - April 27, 2019

Feru Lantara, Depok – The Depok Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) in West Java has issued a letter supporting the Depok government's decision to ban the screening of the film "Memories of My Body" (Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku) at cinemas throughout Depok.

Depok MUI chairperson KH. A. Dimyati Badruzaman said Saturday that the film is not in accordance with the moral norms of society and in particular the values of the Islamic religion.

"The Depok City MUI strongly objects to the film directed by Garin Nugroho being screened in cinemas and being viewed by the Depok public", he said.

The Depok City MUI said there are a number of opinions why the film – which has won several international film awards – should not be screened.

The letter dated April 25 and signed by Badruzaman and Depok MUI Secretary Nurwahidin states that the film has significant potential to damage Islamic youth in Depok by promoting free and deviant sexual behaviour.

"We very much support the move by the Depok mayor to ban the screening of the film in Depok", he said.

Earlier, Depok Mayor Mohammad Idris banned the film "Memories of My Body" from being screened in cinemas in Depok. It was alleged that the film was imbued with elements of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) behaviour and same-sex relations.

Idris also issued an objection letter which was address to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI).

In the letter designated Number 460/165-huk-DPAPMK dated April 24, 2019 it said that the film would create public unrest because there are scenes in the film which depict deviant sexual behaviour.

"This could influence the public opinion primarily among the younger generation [and encourage them] to take part in or even justify these deviant sexual behaviours", said Idris.

According to Idris the scenes in the film conflict with religious norms. In addition to this it could also influence the public opinion, particularly among the younger generation, in to believing that deviant sexual behaviour is normal and acceptable.


Last year "Memories of My Body" won the Cultural Diversity Award under the patronage of UNESCO at the 12th Asia Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, Australia, for an "extraordinary" contribution to the promotion and conservation of cultural diversity through film. The film also won the 2018 Bisato D'Oro Award from the Venice Independent Film Critics as well Best Film at the Festival Des 3 Continents, in Nantes, France. In Indonesia the film was selected as Tempo's Film Choice at the 2018 Tempo Film Festival in Jakarta.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "MUI Depok dukung pelarangan tayang film kucumbu tubuh indahku".]

Source: https://www.antaranews.com/berita/846720/mui-depok-dukung-pelarangan-tayang-film-kucumbu-tubuh-indahku