Minggu, 13 Desember 2009

Letter: Learning from `2012'

While many eyes of Indonesians have been startled by the ongoing news about the KPK case, another story made me raise my eyebrows: the recent call by clerics from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to ban the doomsday-themed movie 2012. In my humble opinion, the call to prohibit the movie only based on rumor is controversial. Although this is not the first time it has made controversial decisions.

Several days ago, my friend and I decided to watch the movie. Afterwards, we had different reviews: I was slightly bored by the use of "the end of days" related theme while my friend thought the movie was entertaining. However, we both agreed the movie had amazing special effects.

To put it briefly, the movie tells us the story of a situation in 2009 where scientists found a number of occurrences showing the end of the world was near. Before that, the Mayans had predicted that 2012 would be the last days of earth. The movie narrates how the people struggle to survive on the so-called doomsday.

There is one scene that many believed initiated the MUI's decision to ban the movie: the scene that showed a mosque destroyed by an earthquake. Furthermore, MUI chief KH Mahmud Zubaidi in Malang mentioned that doomsday is something that "no man could predict" and "the movie is not appropriate because it could affect people's way of thinking."

In my opinion, however, this is not the case. The call by MUI has officially underestimated Muslims in Indonesia who can differentiate between fact and fiction. The movie itself was enjoyable and there are many things we can learn from the movie. Yes, there are no people who can predict the end of the world. The movie nonetheless did not explicitly mean to tell us when the end of the world is. It is only to show us what may occur if doomsday arrives.

The Mayans arguably never predicted anything about the doomsday. The speculation arises because their calendar stops at 2012. Therefore, the reckoning appears due to a loose interpretation about the calendar rather than the Mayans' prophecy. Ironically, the council's verdict has provided the movie with free publicizing. For instance, Twitter has mentioned many times that MUI should not ban the movie. Many Tweets (a post on Twitter) even ridiculed MUI by saying that they should focus on other issues rather than ban the Hollywood movie.

Finally, I think it is time for MUI to start believing in the ability of Indonesian Muslims to decipher fact from fiction. The fact is that MUI's actions lead society to see them negatively. The problem that needs to be solved is not banning the movie. What we should understand more is how society sees the movie.

Perhaps, we feel insecure about entering judgment day due to the many terrible things we have done in the past. Thus, the case is not about what movie says, but how we see ourselves reflected in the movie's plot.

2 komentar:

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