The Depok administration in West Java has sent a letter to the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) requesting an immediate ban of Garin Nugroho’s film Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku (Memories of My Body) in theaters across the city.
The letter, which was submitted on Wednesday by Deputy Mayor Mohammad Idris, raised concerns about non-traditional family values, “deviant sexual acts and blasphemy” that are purportedly presented in the film.
Mohammad wrote that Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku contained “negative elements that could possibly harm the younger generation”.
Depok administration spokesperson Sidik Mulyono confirmed its authenticity. He said that, through the letter, the administration intended to keep residents safe from deviant behavior.
“The administration objects to public screenings of Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku, specifically in Depok. We hope there would be an immediate ban on the film,” Sidik said on Thursday as quoted by tribunnews.com.
According to the official KPI website, the commission was enacted under Law No. 32/2002 on broadcasting. In accordance with the law, it is charged with monitoring content on public television and radio. Its jurisdiction does not extend to cinemas.
Film censorship, which is the legal domain of the Film Censorship Board (LSF), falls under Law No. 33/2009 on cinema.
On its official website, the LSF classifies Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku as 21+, meaning the film is only suitable for audience members over the age of 21.
Directed by Indonesian director Garin Nugroho, Kucumbu Tubuh Indahku tells the story of a Javanese male dancer named Juno over four periods of his life. The film, which has garnered critical praise internationally, deals with the themes of identity and the nature of masculinity.
The film caused a stir on social media after netizens signed an online petition calling on people to boycott it.
Garin lamented the petition, saying it was proof that social media had become a medium of “mass judgment and anarchy”.
“This sort of mass anarchy will only discourage open-mindedness and harm artistic integrity,” he wrote on his Instagram page, @garin_film. (rfa)