The Murderer, The Killjoy: An Exploration of Art, Affect, and the Patriarchal Wound through Mouly Surya’s ‘Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts’ (2017)
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An analysis of Indonesian audience's affective responses to Mouly Surya's tackling of Patriarchal Wounds in the film 'Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts.' Through affect theory as defined by Sarah Ahmed, Arts-Based Engaged Ethnography as constructed by Suzanne Goopy and Anusha Kassan, and John A. Bateman’s Multimodal Critical Discourse, this thesis explores and deconstructs how affects arise through the surfacing of our embodied responses, how art and film moves its audiences to feel, our attunement to the rest of our communities, and the 'stickiness' of our bodies as subjects of the patriarchy. Challenging colonial and patriarchal conventions of research of Western universities, this thesis makes use of decolonial, feminist, and non-Western methods of producing emotional knowledge. Our wounds exist in a socialized context, based on shared histories and structures of power, and affective movement occurs between bodies, objects, and art situated in these very contexts. As Ahmed writes, we all know our pain because it burns through us, and this pain is often represented within Western culture as a lonely thing (Ahmed 23-28). But in Indonesian society, the patriarchal subject does not burn alone. The patriarchy is so pervasive in our culture that it ‘leaks’ into our everyday lives, on all levels of our lives as social beings, and thus this thesis analyses how a film can demonstrate how artistic conventions and methods can become indications of the dangers of structural oppression.