There is no problem about screening the 1984 Suharto-era propaganda movie that blames the 1965-66 anticommunist pogrom on a failed coup d’état by the Indonesian Communist Party, as long as other versions of the events are also allowed to be shown in public, a human rights advocate said in Jakarta on Monday (25/09).
“It’s fine if the government wants to screen it, but if other parties want to show films like ‘The Act of Killing,’ ‘Silence’ [documentaries in which filmmakers expose the mass executions of accused communists] or other films, they must also be allowed to do so,” said Al Araf, director of human rights watchdog Imparsial.
Araf said he is not concerned about the screening of the controversial docudrama “Pengkhiatan G30S/PKI” (“The Treachery of the Sept. 30 Movement”) by the military, and President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s recommendation to remake the film.
“This is democracy. Ultimately, the people will judge,” Araf added.
On Sunday, Chief Security Minister Wiranto said in a statement that the screenings of the Suharto-era film should not be opposed.
“Watching movies on history is necessary for the next generations to understand the Indonesian nationhood as a whole. We don’t need to be embarrassed, angry or upset about watching films,” Wiranto said. “The invitations or suggestions to watch [the film] should not result in polemics and national rows.”
Wiranto added that Jokowi’s suggestion to remake the film into a version understandable to the younger generations is very reasonable.