Stones Have Laws (Dee Sitonu a Weti)
Title: Stones Have Laws (Dee Sitonu a Weti)
Director: Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan, Tolin Alexander i.c.w Maroon communities in Suriname
Country: Suriname, the Netherlands
Languages: Saamaka, Okanisi and Dutch
Stones Have Laws (Dee Sitonu a Weti) is an immersive initiation into the life of a Maroon community in the former Dutch colony of Suriname. Combining stories of African ancestral traditions and escaped slavery with enacted contemporary rituals, the film explores how the community’s powerful ties to the land have become endangered as industries threaten to devastate the region through deforestation and mining. The project was initiated by the Dutch artists Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan and developed in collaboration with the Surinamese theater maker Tolin Erwin Alexander, himself Okanisi Maroon. The three of them closely involved the Maroon community in the development of the script, which was written using an experimental process of collective scripting. Members of the community perform the scenes in front of the camera while crickets, birds, trees, the stones, and the rushing waters of the Suriname River act along. The result is a unique cinematic form that bridges filmmaking, poetry and theatre.
This film is part of YardVibes, a streaming platform for content from independent African and Caribbean makers. The platform offers many titles for rent, from feature films and web series to documentaries and short films, with new content added each month. All titles can be rented individually for a modest fee, which will largely benefit the makers. You can find the complete YardVibes film streaming catalogue at yardvibes.nl.