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Stones Have Laws

Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan, Tolin Alexander 2018

Artists Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan collaborated intensely with Surinamese forest people to find out more about their extended political system, in which ancestors, gods and things have a say, too.

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 artists Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan teamed up with the Surinamese Maroon theatre maker Tolin Alexander to realize the film and closely involved the community in the development of the project. The script was created during an experimental process of collective scripting. The result is a unique cinematic form that bridges new ways of filmmaking, theatre and ancient traditions of story telling.

After premiering at IDFA 2018 in the International Feature Competition, the three co-directors toured with a mobile cinema in the rainforest of Suriname and presented the film to the communities. Stones Have Laws received theatrical release in the UK and Ireland via ICA London. 

From 10 October 2019 it will be distributed in the Netherlands by Windmill Film Distribution.


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Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan work together since 2002, producing film installations, sculpture and collages that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes such as Europe’s borders (Grossraum, 2005), sites of resource production and global trade (Monument of Sugar – how to use artistic means to elude trade barriers, 2007; Episode of the Sea, 2014), and the (non) sites of cultural heritage (Monument to Another Man's Fatherland, 2008, View from the Acropolis, 2012 and subi dura a rudibus, 2010). Most of their projects involve extensive fieldwork and long-term collaborations.

Van Brummelen is a PhD candidate at University of Amsterdam and HKU with the research ‘Drifting Studio Practice – return of the making in the thinking’ (facilitated by ASCA (Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis).

Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan live and work in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

De andere films:

The Last Ride of the Wolves

Alberto De Michele (HALAL) 2022

Kala azar

Janis Rafa (SNG Film) 2020

Beyond Index

Gerald van der Kaap (Interakt) 2017

C'est Déja L'été

Martijn Maria Smits (De Productie) 2010

History's Future

Fiona Tan (Family Affair Films) 2016

Stones Have Laws

Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan, Tolin Alexander 2018


Metahaven/Rob Schröder (Dutch Mountain) 2018

Silent Ones

Ricky Rijneke (Rotterdam Films) 2013


Melvin Moti (KeyFilm) 2020


Erik van Lieshout (Popov Film) 2013


Dick Tuinder (Column Film) 2009

Nummer achttien

Guido van der Werve (Smarthouse Films) 2017


Sonja Wyss (SNG Film) 2008

In productie:

Headless Trees

Sara Rajaei (seriousFilm) 2023


Jeroen Kooijmans (Submarine Docs) 2023

A Ringing in the Ears

Gabriel Lester (The Film Kitchen) 2023

East Of Noon

Hala Elkoussy (seriousFilm) 2023