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IDFA - Stones Have Laws + Doc Talk

Majestic shots of the forest and the alternately serene and turbulent river set the scene, while members of the Surinamese Maroon community, who are descended from enslaved Africans who were able to free themselves, shed light on their world. They show us how they live, how they consult their ancestors and forest spirits, and how this is all integrated with the use of modern tools.


In reenacted situations—set deep in the forest, along the river or around a campfire—village elders and younger men and women talk about the history of their people and the spirits of the natural world around them. A broad spectrum of subjects unfolds, including the dramatic escape by one of the ancestors, the struggle against the Dutch colonists, and the binding laws of trees and boulders. Desolate landscapes draft a grim picture of the far-reaching effects of the arrival of mineral-hungry multinationals.

But to start off, members of the Maroon community discuss their feelings about the film. Should they put their trust in the good intentions of the filmmakers?

doc talk

In cooperation with the Rijksmuseum, a follow-up talk will take place with the directors about the struggle of the ancestors of the Maroons and their world that is now being threatened by multinationals - about the history of the Maroon community and the legacy of (post) colonialism.


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