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Rights group says new film on 1965 needed but one that is objective, not just propaganda

Kompas.com - September 19, 2017

Ambaranie Nadia Kemala Movanita, Jakarta – The Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy says that a film on the 1965 affair needs to be remade but with a more realistic story.

The plot must be written in accordance with what actually happened at the time, without burying the facts. Setara Institute deputy chairperson Bonar Tigor Naipospos says that the film must be more objective, not just propaganda and focusing on violence.

"But it should also have a prolog on why the affair erupted and an epilog and sequel that shows the tragic consequences for those who were not involved and became victims", said Bonar in a written press release on Tuesday September 19.

In this way, said Bonar, a new film will be able to serve as a reflection for the millennial generation, not just serving up violence and hatred.

Bonar said that history should not just show the views of parties that came out of the affair the winners, but also take up the social aspect and perspective of the victims.

"And at the same time be educational and have social imagination for the nation on what is needed for the future", said Bonar.

Bonar said that the film titled Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (The Betrayal of the 30 September Movement/Indonesian Communist Party", which was written and directed by Arifin C. Noer does not need to be screened again.

The film, which was made during the era of Indonesia's second president Suharto, is ridden with the political interests of the period. Because of this therefore, a new version of the film is needed that is more objective.

If indeed the G30S/PKI film is to be screened again, he said, it needs to be counterbalanced with other films which take up the 1965 affair in order to provide the millennial generation with a historical understanding that is complete and analytical.

"It's time for us to make peace with history. Look at history with our eyes open and a cool head. Not manipulating history for the sake of the political interests of those in power", said Bonar.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo said that he wanted the G30S/PKI film to be updated for today's generation.

Widodo emphasised that watching films, in particular ones about that period of history is important. According to the president however, a new film should be made so the younger generation can more easily understand the dangers of communism.

"It would be better if there was a new version, so that it is more relevant, that the millennial generation is able to get into", said Widodo.


In September 1998, the government dropped the requirement for all TV stations to broadcast the film "Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI", a dramatisation of the New Order's version of the events surrounding the alleged communist coup in 1965. The film, one of the most effective pieces of propaganda produced by the Suharto dictatorship, had been a compulsory program for all stations every September 30 since its release in 1984.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Sineas Didorong Garap Film Peristiwa 1965 yang Lebih Akurat.]

Source: http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2017/09/19/14494511/sineas-didorong-garap-film-peristiwa-1965-yang-lebih-akurat.

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