Stones Have Laws

The inlands of Suriname are inhabited by descendants of African people who, in the 17th and 18th century, were shipped over the Atlantic Ocean to work on the plantations as slaves. Many of them were able to free themselves and built communities inland.

Like their African ancestors, the inlanders have a special relationship to their environment. Non-human entities are also a part of their communities, including the spirits of their ancestors. The villagers ask the local forest spirits for permission to cut a tree, for example. They show respect to big rocks and crawly termite mounds. If rain fails to appear, they pray to the god of water.

With this film, the artists aim to visualise the radical democracy in which spirits, ancestors and non-human things have agency.

co-direction Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan & Tolin Alexander | script based on conversations with the Maroon community of Suriname  | a co-production with IDEAL films Darek Szai Szendel & VRIZA Kerstin Winking | supported by the Netherlands Film Fund, Fonds 21 & Amsterdam Fund for the Arts | this film is made in the context of de Verbeelding (the Imagination) artists and film programme of the Netherlands Film Fund & Mondriaan Fund