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State Film company says anti-communist film can gauge public reaction, open space for discussion

Tempo - September 14, 2017

Syafiul Hadi, Jakarta – The director of commerce and operations at the state-owned State Film Production company (PFN) Elprisdat M. Zen says that calls for the film Crushing the G30S PKI to be shown again as it was during the New Order era is something good.

According to Elprisdat, showing the film will open up space for discussion, not function as a claim to historical truth.

"That's the function of a film like this right. [I could] be a trigger to open up discussion", said Elprisdat at the Coordinating Ministry for Security, Politics and Legal Affairs on Thursday September 14.

Elprisdat explained that he has no problem with calls on the part of social media users for the film titled The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party film to be shown again.

In fact by showing the film he said, we will be able to see the public's reaction and whether or not people do indeed still really hate something that smacks of the past or not. "For me it's okay. After all we can test the waters can't we", he said.

According to Elprisdat, the film could be used to gauge the issue. He also says that the film can be used to compare what happened in the past and is happening now. "We cannot just ignore it right, what was most certainly bad in the past and what is good now", he said.

With regard to several other films that differ from the government's official version of events, they could be used as a comparison. In fact these other versions are something good that can help to resolve issues and generate discussion. "Rather than us burying it, leaving it un-clarified", he said.

Elprisdat acknowledges that the G30S-PKI film shows the events of 1965 from the government's view point. According to Elprisdat this won't be a problem if the film is just broadcast as something to watch.

"It doesn't mean that we are claiming that it's the truth. What will in fact emerge through this is a crystallization of which side is correct", he said.

Crushing the Betrayal of the G30S-PKI was produced by the PFN during the era of President Suharto's leadership. The film, which was made in 1984 and directed by Arifin C. Noer, tells the story of how the PKI carried out a coup d'etat on September 30, 1965.

The film also shows the actions of the military in crushing the PKI. Since the reform era that began in 1998, the wide-screen film that was routinely shown by the state-owned television station TVRI in late September each year has no long been broadcast.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was PFN Tak Masalah Bila Film G 30 S PKI Diputar Kembali.]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/news/2017/09/14/078909096/pfn-tak-masalah-bila-film-g-30-s-pki-diputar-kembali.

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