Subject: 'Balibo' Film Ban Backfires Badly
JG: 'Balibo' Film Ban Backfires Badly
The Jakarta Globe
Monday, December 14, 2009
Balibo' Film Ban Backfires Badly
The Indonesia Film Censorship Agency's decision to ban the Australian
movie "Balibo" early this month appears to have backfired, with stores
all over the capital selling the pirated version of the film over the
Firman, a movie lover, said that until recently he had never even heard
of the movie, which tells of the deaths of five journalists, allegedly
at the hands of Indonesian soldiers during the 1975 invasion of East
I only found out about the movie after the National Film Censorship
Board [LSF] banned it. I don't even know what the movie is about. I must
admit that I bought the pirated version because of the ban," he told the
Ayu, a shopkeeper who sells pirated DVDs, said demand for the movie was
We just received the movie on [Sunday] morning and we've sold more than
40 copies," she said. "We are already short on stock, so we quickly
ordered a hundred more copies."
The pirated version of the movie is reportedly decent in quality with
Prior to the ban, Balibo had a very small market, primarily attracting
curious expatriates, journalists and hard core movie buffs.
The movie was submitted to the LSF by the Jakarta International Film
Festival (Jiffest), which had originally planned to screen the film
during the festival.
Immediately after the ban several arts organizations like the Salihara
Community and the Utan Kayu Theater, as well as journalist groups,
including the Independent Journalists Alliance (AJI) and the Jakarta
Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC) arranged private screenings, which
were attended by thousands of curious moviegoers.
The film tells the story of five journalists killed when Indonesian
troops took over the border town of Balibo in East Timor in October
A sixth journalist died weeks later when Dili was invaded by Indonesian
Indonesia claims the journalists were killed in crossfire but a 2007
Australian coroner's inquest found that the five were deliberately
killed by Indonesian forces, prompting the Australian Police to launch
an official investigation into the incident two months ago.
Back to December Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu