Another time that is needed
In the wooden terrace heavily wet by the morning dew, standing there I was hearing adhan sounding from everywhere around the village located on the hillside of Mt. Cikur, to where the previous evening we were guided by a four-wheel-drive. Passing through rice fields, we entered into another landscape of patches where cash crops grow in the slope spreading toward the mountain.
Smoking a cigarette, I remembered the films I saw the previous night. Among them, two documentary films I particularly appreciate, one is a short history about the struggle of the villagers with SPP that took place 13 years ago, another one seemed to be about the bonds among the villagers. The former film, thanks to English subtitles, I could fully understand, but the latter was without subtitles. Nevertheless, although I was not able to make out what the villagers were talking about, I was deeply impressed by it.
Most part of the film was the scene of singing. Two men singing an old Islamic song that seemed endless, while other men played simple traditional music instruments, and the rest of the villagers were listening. It seemed that there was no telling when the play would come to an end. It was a very fascinating time for me, not because music itself was fine but the time that flowed while singing was awesome. The scene of solemnly singing appeared to epitomize the atmosphere or the situation of the village that eased the intensity of the feeling the previous film, which was full of struggles, showed. The name of the director of the two films was Yovik. He had succeeded to represent the temperament of the villagers in a long take. Having seen two films, we were told that after the long struggles, in order to restore the inner relationship among the villagers, especially between the young and the old, the singing party was held. I was entirely satisfied with this explanation. The feeling prevailing the second film was marvelous. It successfully created an appropriate sensation of time that made me realize: for the transformation of human relation, another time that is needed.
Notes on contributor
Ikegami Yoshihiko 池上善彥, joined the editorial office of the journal現代思想 [Gendai-Shiso] in 1991. From 1994 onwards, he served as the chief editor until 2010. Recent publication (in Japanese) is現代思想の20年 [Twenty Years in Gendai-Shiso] (2012).