Indonesia Reacts to ‘Act of Killing’ Academy Nomination

A scene from the documentary ‘The Act of Killing.’ (Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films)

A scene from the documentary ‘The Act of Killing.’ (Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films)

It could have been a historical moment for Indonesia.

On Jan. 16 the first film focused exclusively on Indonesian history was nominated in the best documentary category in the 86th Academy Awards. The nomination was the latest in a long list of accolades for Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing,” a documentary exposing the atrocities of the 1965 communist party purge that birthed the New Order and left as many as a million people dead in a bloody wave of violence.

The chilling documentary has been screened at some 120 international film festivals, netting 32 awards and earning praise from critics worldwide. But in Indonesia the film has received a cold reception from government officials, who see the documentary as an embarrassment; a dangerous film that fails to portray an accurate picture of the modern nation.

“[Indonesia] is portrayed as a cruel and lawless nation,” said Teuku Faizasyah, the presidential spokesman for foreign affairs. “The film portrayed Indonesia as backwards, as in the 1960s. That is not appropriate, not fitting. It must be remembered [that] Indonesia has gone through a reformation. Many things have changed.

“One’s perception should not be so heavily influenced by just that one film.”

The film focuses on Anwar Congo, a self-described preman (thug) from Medan, North Sumatra. The ageing Anwar guides viewers through his brutal past, coming clean about his active role in one of the nation’s darkest hours.  A film buff and murderer, Anwar recreates the killings in graphic detail by approaching the subject through the lens of his favorite film genres.

It’s a dark and disturbing film, one that juxtaposes the natural beauty of North Sumatra with the unsettling confessions of a trio of admitted killers. But those confessions, and the allegations of widespread support of the Pemuda Pancasila (Pancasila Youth) from some of nation’s most powerful men, have riled some in Indonesia.

“We will settle the issues of our bleak past, but it certainly cannot be done in an abrupt way,” Teuku said. “It takes [time]. Can the public accept that?”

Most nations had blood on their hands at some point in time, Teuku  said. How can outsiders judge Indonesia when they have similar dark periods in their past, he asked.

“Many countries have similar bleak [moments] in their history,” he said. “Do not label a country so easily. We have to remember the history of slavery in the United States, the aboriginals in Australia, the bombings of Vietnam by America. There are elements of violations against humanity in many other nations.

“One must remember that the problem occurred in the context of the Cold War, a war against communism.”

He also questioned the film maker’s decision to focus on a select cast of characters instead of the larger picture.

“The sources are limited to the few who committed acts of atrocity,” Teuku said. “Is that really sufficient to interpret a significant historical event?”

The nation will address its past in its own time, he said.

“The message that the film is trying to drive at must be treated with caution,” Teuku said. “From the perspective of Indonesia as a nation we are in the process of handling and anticipating the problems of the past in our own way. It isn’t finished but we are in a period of reconciliation. There is no need to be pushed by parties outside Indonesia.”

The nation has tried to come to terms in the events of 1965 in the past. The National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) conducted a four-year investigation into the violence, releasing a comprehensive report last year that called the purge “a serious human rights violation.” The report, which is based on interviews with 349 witnesses, uncovered evidence of state-supported murder, extermination, slavery, eviction or forced eviction, deprivation of freedom, torture, rape and abuse.

“Komnas HAM undertook the investigations,” Imdadun Rahmat, a commissioner with Komnas HAM, said. “Gross human rights violations did occur in 1965. Our recommendations have been passed to the Supreme Court. Yet, up to this point, the Komnas HAM and the Supreme Court have different opinions.”

The commission urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to take up the issue. Instead the Attorney General’s Office rejected an appeal to conduct an official investigation into the purge, arguing that Komnas HAM lacked sufficient evidence of a crime.

“The evidence Komnas has gathered was insufficient to justify an official legal investigation,” Attorney General Basrief Arief said at the time.

The investigation stagnated once it was handed to the courts, Imdadun said.

“According to the Supreme Court the available data is insufficient,” he said. “For example, it wants Komnas HAM to be able to find each specific name of those who committed a violation against human rights. In the context of trying to settle the matter, Komnas HAM is coordinating with the Supreme Court. We formed an independent team to resolve the archives which stagnated in the supreme court.”

Human rights groups accused the AGO of cowing to pressure from powerful political groups, calling the refusal a clear example of “the reluctance of the country’s elites to confront its past mistakes and bring those responsible to justice.”

“The tragedy has continued to haunt the nation for 47 years, and will continue to do so unless we come to terms with it,” said Hendardi, a human rights activist, on the AGO’s decision.

The Golkar Party, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the Indonesian Military (TNI, who have all been implicated in the killings, would likely come out against any effort to prosecute the guilty parties. For some it is a period in history best left forgotten; a moment resigned to the pages of often inaccurate history books rather than the nation’s courts.

In 2004 the Ministry of Education stripped the words PKI from mentions of the September 30th movement. By 2006 mention of the political party was back in.

Decades of misinformation and New Order-era propaganda have obscured the truth in Indonesia. The anti-PKI film “Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI” (“The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement By The PKI”) was played repeatedly in schools and on state-run television. The movie depicted the PKI as a group of bloodthirsty killers, men who tortured army soldiers — cutting off their genitals and gouging out their eyes — in a piece of Suharto-era propaganda.

The lengthy film was compulsory viewing for school children, who were made to write a report about the evils of the communists once a year. But it was just one example of New Order-era lies about the PKI that continue to confuse the populous, historian Asvi Marwan Adam, of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), said.

“It was reported in Berita Yudha (Yudha News), the army’s news outlet, that the PKI committed atrocities such as gouging the eyes and cutting off the genitals of the generals it kidnapped on 30 September 1965,” Asvi said. “Such things were not proven. It did not happen. It was made to smear the PKI.

“Since the reformation, there have been efforts to revise the history of 1965. The military took exception to this since they were involved in the history.”

Former president Abdurrahman Wahid attempted to repeal a law banning the spread of the communist party in a move widely seen as a step toward reconciliation by human rights groups. But Gus Dur’s words fell on deaf ears. The proposal failed and in 2003, when his term as president drew to a close, the House of Representatives decided not to revoke the law.

Teuku called Gus Dur’s failed proposal an example of the nation’s willingness to address the past — in its own time.

“Look at what Gus Dur has done,” he said. “There is no need to be pushed.”

Komnas HAM said that the public’s perception of the PKI had changed in recent years.

“Now there has been significant improvement, especially with respect to the stigma that the public once had,” Imdadun said. “In the New Order the stigma was continually reproduced. It created a negative perception. But now, the stigma has gradually eroded.

“The public gave respect to them. The openness of information and freedom of speech produced a number of books which provide an alternative version of history.

“In general, there has been an improvement, but it takes time.”

The commission wants the central government to address all of the nation’s human rights abuses.

“Komnas HAM pushes for a non-judicial push which is restorative in nature,” Imdadun said. “We prioritize reconciliation. This is not only limited to the 1965 incident but also all other incidents in the past. We want the government to issue a statement acknowledging that there really were serious violations of human rights.

“We should be able to forgive and appreciate one another.”

Despite similar goals, Komnas HAM accused “The Act of Killing,” of reopening old wounds.

“The film doesn’t need to be responded to too seriously,” he said. “Otherwise Komnas HAM’s efforts for reconciliation can be crashed by overwhelming resistance from the public. Telling the truth can be done kindly without provoking hatred.

“The methodology [of the movie] is vulgar. It reopened old wounds for victims. Psychologically speaking, watching that movie is not healthy. This is a very sensitive matter. We should be accepting and forgiving of one another.”

Imdadun said the nation doesn’t need the condemnation of international observers.

“We should be free from international allegations that claim that human rights violations in Indonesia happened without any follow-up whatsoever,” he said.

But without a renewed commitment from the AGO and the Supreme Court the matter might never be resolved. Those involved in the killings are approaching old age, meaning that further delay by the courts may mean that those implicated in the purge may die before they can be prosecuted.

There is also a danger of the 1965 PKI massacre succombing to the same fate as numerous other unresolved human rights offenses in Indonesia, from the Petrus killings to the 1998 anti-Chinese riots.

Regardless, Imdadun said, the investigation is ongoing.

“The process is still ongoing in the Supreme Court,” he said.

But some doubt the government’s commitment to investigating the claims.

“There isn’t momentum to have this as a big project,” said Asep Kambali, historian and founder of the Indonesian Historians Community. “So long as the government does not push this to be pursued further, there will be no serious effort.”

Without open access to government files, historians and investigators are unlikely to uncover the truth, Asep said.

“The facts are so limited,” he said. “Historians and those in the academia have no access. They are not special agents. They have no access to the palace. No access to many places nor the people in that era [and] many eyewitnesses have passed away.”

And even with full access to government records and sources, the entire event is so clouded in propaganda and Suharto-era doctrine that uncovering a truly objective version of the truth is unlikely, he said.

“The heads of the people are full with anti-PKI doctrine,” Asep said. “It was one way to legitimize mass murder. Only Suharto knows exactly what happened.”

The repercussions of a thorough investigation could be grave, he said.

“There will be terrible consequences if anyone tries to uncover the truth,” Asep said. “This can be likened to a revolution. We already have a paradigm [in place], yet we want to destroy it and reconstruct a new paradigm.

“What will happen is a clash of ideologies. Not everyone will agree. Different perspectives and ideologies will give rise to conflict.”

But what actually happened in 1965 needs to be known, regardless of the consequences, he said.

“History is honest, but it might be painful,” Asep said. “Negative or not, the truth must come out.”

“The Act of Killing,” is available for free download in Indonesia. 

  • citizencain

    the man tries to break the mirror because he doesn’t like seeing his own reflection.

  • Adfr

    It’s time, really time to look over your past and condemn those generals and officials still in place who commandited this genocide. If not, Indonesia will continue to lie to itself

  • http://www.socialmediamarketingsystems.net/ Giles Ensor

    The mealy-mouthed excuses of those in power cannot detract from the basic truth that Indonesia has never investigated any if the alleged human rights abuses it has committed. There are, in this documentary, confessions from three people that they committed mass murder. One even goes as far as to say that the murders were nothing to do with communism and everything to do with anti Chinese sentiments. And yet these three men are still walking around free.
    From the atrocities so vividly described in the Act of Killing, through to the invasions of Papua and Timor Leste to the anti-Chinese (yet again) mass murder in 1998, not once has the Indonesian government shown any willingness to confont its past.
    And to suggest that, because other countries have dark pasts, Indonesia should not work towards healing its own historical wounds is disingenuous at best.

  • Unveiling the Truth

    Wow, a successful propoganda to gain China’s resentment to Indonesia. I wonder what USA are plotting right now..

    • lanang_sajati

      Ya this a plot to worsen the good Indonesia – Chine relation by the desperate Western and USA

  • тне јокег ббб

    It’s not Indonesian fault. Just like another politics purposes in every nations. Well, maybe possibly the most incredible indonesian movie ever made. 1 of the most powerful documentaries I’ve seen. Powerful in its rawness

  • sheldon

    Me thinks presidential spokesman doth protest too much.

  • antifreeze

    Yes, Teuku is obviously keen to rightly point out that other country’s histories are no less dark than Indonesia’s , but perhaps he would care to, for the sake of balance, add some examples of atrocities committed by past Chinese regimes towards their own people while he’s at it……….

  • Blade

    He says ” each nation has a dark past” yes maybe they do but at least they acknowledge it and come clean, which is yet to happen here (look at the school books on how they portray the incident with the invention of heroes)

  • Warsono Hadisubroto

    Those who think that PKI people were not merely innocent victims and they’re all vicious blodthirsty people ready to kill all religious Indonesians are completely brainwashed by New Order/Soeharto’s propaganda.

    • Dian

      “They all vicious bloodthirsty people ready to kill all religious Indonesians” is your wording not mine!

      It does not need a brainwashed to understand that PKI was equally cruel, even before 1965. Just ask Burhan Zainudin Rusjiman about it. Or perhaps ask Ibu Amelia Yani about it in relation to 1965 bloody night.

      If Borat sings “throw the Jews down the well”
      The PKI did throw the Generals down the well!
      and PKI people in Mancansan sang genjer genjer about it.

      • Dewi Rainny

        PKI is a political party with millions of supporters? Did you try to say everyone of them threw Generals down the well?

        Communism is an ideology, and communists are people who agree with the ideology.

        Genjer-genjer is a song about vegetable.

        Burhan Zainudin Rusjiman is a cold-blooded mass murderer.

        You should read Roosa’s “Dalih Pembunuhan Massal” for a start. Read it. It can be downloaded for free.

  • DanielKaimana

    Oh yeah sure… And then keeping killing Muslims everywhere and prior to that bombing Vietnam.. That must be childish then.. And now Israeli fancy to kill innocent women and children of Palestinian and Australia keeps drowning the asylum seekers.. So childish.

    • Blade

      You don’t hear about the
      Jewish refugees because instead of whining, they got on with
      their lives – and are the better for it.

  • kumudasundari

    Nice

  • masmon2

    Pak Mamat
    Brilliant post and very perceptive indeed. You have it spot on.

  • SixStringsWizards

    Bull’s Eye for the comment pak, well composed comment i think you should considering wrote a column about this pak…

  • Blade

    That’s quite a spin of deflection….I dont think the west thought there was 9 million Communists but around that many died some say 35 million….it was more about control of power to become the next president (meaning it had nothing to do with Communism )

  • antifreeze

    We should also not forget that the 60 + Indonesian technicians who spent 8 years assisting the director in making this incredible film, have chosen to remain anonymous. Normally assisting crews can hardly wait to be associated with a very successful film. Their wishes speak volumes.

  • Hypocrite Buster

    Masterly comment, to western and objective observers, but the raving of a lunatic if you ask most Indonesian posters here.

  • http://al-terity.blogspot.com/ Alterity

    Exactly. And that’s why it’s important to acknowledge what happened in the
    past so the same mistakes are not made again. Can you imagine if Germany tried to pretend the holocaust didn’t happen? Or if the US failed to acknowledge the civil rights movement?

  • Longtermexpat

    Obviously, this film has accomplished one part of its agenda, which is to (re)open the discussion about what happened in 1965. It is an issue which continues to bubble just below the surface of Indonesia’s collective consciousness, much to this country’s own psychological detriment. Regardless of the who’s, hows or why’s, Indonesia need to come to terms with the reality of the mass murder (and the ugly politics behind it) that occurred within its own borders in order to move forward as a peaceful and democratic nation. Until the “elected leaders” can embrace the truth of 1965 with courage, Indonesia will remain a nation of smiling liars.

    • prodopo

      “A nation of smiling liars”. Isn’t that a wee bit racist? You must have a tough time if you live in Indonesia..

    • Normalaatsra

      Wow. Everything sounded great until you had to insult the entire country.

  • antifreeze

    Ah, but as Picasso said ” Art is the lie that reveals the truth”.

  • Unum Deum

    Most Indonesians today weren’t born yet when this happened. I also was born during the New Order period, years after the mass killing. Many of us heard about the horror of the tragedy from our grandparents, parents and uncles; like rivers being clogged with bloated bodies of the victims.

    So, why we are being blamed for this!!

    We don’t want this to happen. Yes! We unconsciously try to forget this horrific tragedy that we hope never to happen again.

    As many as Indonesians or perhaps even more were killed by Allies/Dutch actions during the Independence War (1945-1949). I’m sure no producers from Western countries are interested in making a documentary about this. They like to make film about people from other countries killing one another; and act like champions of human right.

    • Nyata

      During the post-colonial war 150.000 Indonesians died. Most of them killed by Dutch soldiers, some by Indonesian nationalists dealing with ‘traitors’. During 65-66 the estimates range from 500.000 up till 2.000.000 . You really ought to get your numbers straight.

      • Unum Deum

        I’m well aware about the numbers….some sources say the number of Indonesians killed during the independence war was also 2 millions.

        • Nyata

          What sources? I’ve read lots of Australian, Indonesian and Dutch sources on this topic, but I have never heard the number you are writing there. I am willing to bet you do not have a legit source for that.

  • Warsono Hadisubroto

    But saudara Kara, tell me one name of the victims, just one name among millions of the so-called communists who were now six feet under somewhere in the mass grave all over Indonesia, that was planning to shed blood in 1965? One name among women who were raped and imprisoned for years without ever being tried. One name among thousands who were forced to do labour that is not better than slavery. Tell me one name among those who were impoverished, robbed, depraved, sacked from their company/job just because they joined or was active in unions. Tell me if there’s any of them who were ready to kill millions other for their idea.

    Tell me.

    Just one name.

  • Mitha Yanuar

    It’s kind of weird every time I read comments from my fellow foreigners here that we are trying to cover up the history or to deny the truth. There is no way we can deny the masssacre since everybody knows that, every body witnessed that. But let me express what most of Indonesians might be worry about.

    Reopening the massacre discussion and a decision to take a legal action to investigate the case can be interpreted that Indonesia starts to accept the existence of communism.

    Accepting the existence of communism can evoke fear over the victims of communist’s violence before the 1965 that the similar genocide commited by the communist would happen again. So their descendants would likely fight back everyones who declare themselves as communist no matter what.

    Secondly, communist cannot exist in Indonesia because if they want to exist, they have to change our ideology, Pancasila. Replacing Pancasila means we can no longer accept democracy as Pancasila is the symbol of democracy in Indonesia. The defenders of pancasila will fight back, US will get involved creating worse mess and it means a new conflict will occur.

    Indonesians are so tired of various longstanding conflict that keeping such thing in history books and starting a new peace era will be more than enough for them. This is what we do so as to prevent it happening again.

    • Wong Edan

      Firstly Pancasila is dead. It was never anything more than 5 vague ideas anyway. Anybody who thinks it means anything anymore hasn’t been paying attention. Secondly, what “genocide by the communist world”. I personally think communism is ridiculous rubbish, but only those clinging to illogical and fragile beliefs would be so afraid and ready to swallow propaganda from a group of people who really did oppress them.

  • Lastlanuma

    Here is what I see how these non citizens see things in Indonesia …a “dramatic valuation disconnect” between the price of the facts and their actual value. Remember the main source is only two preman in Medan. Medan hs new airport and maybe that’s a good way out before china comes to town.

    • TalkingEid

      ‘a “dramatic valuation disconnect” between the price of the facts and their actual value.’ Sorry – can you explain that in English please?

  • Firhat Nawfan Hilmanda

    I think we should remember that not only communist (PKI) that threatened Indonesian at our earliest hour but also Islam (Darul Islam/Kartosoewirjo), Dutch army facilitated by the British (representing western societies), PRRI/Permesta backed by CIA, and various regional rebellion in Moluccas (RMS). These day people seems to try to allign nationalism to Islamism, we should remember that our ancester were Hindu for thousand of years, even our word for “west” is Barat(Bharat, endonym for India, as Nippon is for Japan), yet they didn’t turn Indian. Therefore although our majority is Moslem we should never be Arabs. Indonesian civilization should have it’s own characteristic based on our own “Local Wisdom”, we had plenty of inspiration as we are nation of hundred ethnicity (Patrilineal Batak, Matrilineal Minangkabau, Islamic Malay, Syncretic Java, Hindu Bali, Dayak Tribes, Bajau Sea Nomads, Maritime Bugis, etc…. )do not feel inferior to other, and do not let other to dictate what is the course of our civilization

    • Hypocrite Buster

      And your point is?

  • Tina

    This is the perfect example of how an educated argument is replied by sarcasm and cheesy moons. And these people seem to think that they’re the better humans.

    • TalkingEid

      Indeed Tina – they refer to people as Nazis, accuse them of swearing and think that somehow, that makes them more mature and their arguments more cogent and valid.

      • Paul

        Tina is referring to your sophisticated green cheese moon comment.

        She means you, son.

  • Paul

    It’s not about blaming the “West”.

    But if you want to know the truth of 1965, the darkest year in Indonesian history, you have to look at it in its entirety. It was the fight between communism and capitalism in the era of cold war.

    At that time, Pol Pot planned his revolution in Cambodia and Lyndon B. Johnson expand his war in Vietnam to fight communism. (During the Pol Pot era estimated 750.000 to 3 million were killed. Casualties in the Vietnam Conflict: 3.88 million.)

    Indonesia had the 3 largest communist party in the world with 3 million members and up to 17 million supporters, backed by Sukarno. That was a huge threat for the “western” world. It’s undeniable, that “western” intelligence services supported heavily anti-communist forces.

    These mass killings were an enormous tragedy, which divided families, were even brothers fought each other till death.

  • Normalaatsra

    If the film was directed by an Indonesian then I would think the director is a brave man who is willed to produce a movie of such a sensitive topic. I think the kind of response the Indonesian viewers, who know more about the massacre than international audiences, would also assume it is a call to acknowledgment, yet the outside world suggests it is evidence of truth, as they are new to the knowledge.

    And do you know what that sounds like? It’s what’s happening right now.

    I like how your argument brings theory of knowledge to the table, and TOK trumps every thought, but I think your suggestion has no use.

  • Dewi Rainny

    You don’t know what to do?

    I’m not in the position to tell you or anybody what to do. Who am I to tell anyone anything to do. But when a friend asked that very question–after watching The Act of
    Killing–this is what I said.

    You should read more. You should discuss this with your friends more.

    What to discuss? How to make our government admit its mistakes in the past, say sorry to the victims, write a more honest history in school text book, expose the truth, deliver justice, end impunity, and then start reconciliation process and recompensate & rehabilitate victims.

    But that’s all government job, you may say. Yes. We, Indonesian people make the government. We have voice. We have votes.

    How can we use our votes effectively?
    You should read more, you should discuss this with your friends more.

  • TalkingEid

    Yes – it will make us understand that each person is responsible for their own actions – not Allah, not the CIA, not ‘the West’……

  • Dewi Rainny

    I wonder if if both of you, Kara & Parajonda, have seen the film.

    The Act of Killing started with title card that mention the involvement of the West–that includeds the US–in the killing of one million ‘communists.’

  • Dewi Rainny

    PKI is a party with 3 millions members. Can you prove that the party as an institution, and the whole members, everyone of them, kidnapped the army generals?

  • DD

    what should you do…
    Accept the reality of what has happened, apologize and pay retribution and most importantly put in place mechanisms to ensure it can never happen again. I don’t think it is likely to be able to jail people although the names of the guilty who organized such a disgraceful event should be made public.
    But in fact the opposite is happening

    • Botak

      the names of the guilty who organized such a disgraceful event should be made public.

      I wouldn’t suggest this.

      As you said “ensure it can never happen again”

      Publicizing the Names, could lead to another genocide, only the other way around, because out of revenge.

  • Ayu Ratih

    Check the killings of the Papuans, guys! Indonesian army is paid by Freeport, a US-based multi national corporation to guard the copper mine and to kick out the Papuans. So, what’s the point of making a distinction between Indonesia and the USA? Terrorist states all over the world unite, and you guys refuse to hold hands with other concerned citizens of the world in defense of such a narrow nationalism. Pathetic!

  • Wong Edan

    Admit it, aplogise and find the people responsible. Is that really so complicated?

  • Wong Edan

    No they didn’t. The groups who did the kidnapping were led by members of the presidential guard, “Tjakrabirawa” – meaning they were members of the army. The forces controlling the Radio Indonesia station and occupying the square in the centre of Jakartya were from 454 Battalion 454 (Diponegoro Division) and 530 Battalion (Brawijaya Division) – of the army. The announcements on the radio came from the coup movement leader Lieutenant-Colonel Untung Syamsuri – again army. Even the New Order couldn’t deny the involvement of the army.

  • prodopo

    What evidence do you have to support this?

    • TalkingEid

      History.

  • prodopo

    This movie sucks on more than one level. For one, I feel sorry for any of the families of the victims of 1965 who have to watch the clown Anwar Congo joking as he re-enacts what can only be described as hideous. This is insensitive in the extreme. Then there’s the bizarre and surreal vision of dancing women by a waterfall, or coming out of a giant fish. This is reminiscent of Mel Brook’s “The Producers”. But here it is presented as facts, in a documentary. This trivializes the deaths of over a million people: something which surely deserves 100% seriousness. Finally, because the wider global anti-communist movement of the time isn’t addressed, Indonesia appears to be acting alone as a rogue state, which wasn’t the case.

  • Paul

    Nonsense. a lot of “bad guys” in Germany and Japan could make it into high positions after WW2.

    Both countries are strong countries today, because they were already developed countries before the war. They have discipline, a good infrastructure, a high education, efficiency, are well organized, AREN’T CORRUPT, know how to sell their products and deliver good quality, etc.. That’s why they succeeded.

    It’s still a long road for Indonesia.

    What Indonesia should do, is to analyse 1965, to bring out the truth.

  • TruthHurts

    You’re missing the point. We’re talking about Indonesia now, not anywhere else. Getting a bit hot in front of the flashlights are we?

  • kopi hitam

    As Indonesian, I don’t know why my fellow Indonesians should be proud of this movie is in Oscar nomination. We’re an object in this movie, then the world judging us as barbaric nation. Well, I don’t care since I dont know whether I love my country or not.

    I can’t get what’s the point of this documentary movie, besides pointing out how cruel Indonesian in 1965, and we all know, CIA behind all of this http://www.namebase.org/scott.html .. through this movie, viewers would response like this; Yikes Indonesian, you guys are dirty psychopath

    For me, this kind of political propaganda just to open old scars, c’mon, communism is expired. We could see what Polpot did to his people, Mao, North Korean etc….

    When the first time I watched this trailer, my response is, okay,- this human slaughtering is not the first time in Indonesia. It’s happened before, when several provinces didnt satisfied with Sukarno, before, I used to hope, there’s a film maker will make a documentary movie about PRRI. How cruel Sukarno and his communist army in torturing people in west Sumatera. 30,000 people died, being slaughtered, hostaged, killed and buried in the jungle… But, I hope Indonesian itself who will make a movie about this, not foreigners.

    Before 65 event, communist had sins to people in central sumatra, they raped and killed innocent civilians like animal, burnt the mosque, killed people who were praying in the mosque, that’s what my granddad told me, that’s why Hamka, (one of Indonesian national hero) being jailed and tortured by Sukarno.

    So, history repeats. But, if PRRI being filmed like the act of killing, what’s the benefit for the next generation. It could lead disintegaration of this country, people from Sumatra might or will hate javanese (communist/ sukarno’s army) who killed in PRRI, 1958-1960. And Indonesia will hate each other, between Javanese and Sumatran. then, we want our own independence, because of this old scars. R.I.P Republic of Indonesia.

    This is my point, have you heard of Agent Orange?? How cruel U.S military in torturing poor Vietnamese during the war, the affect is still going on up to now, 3 million Vietnamese people have been affected by Agent Orange, born with birth defect, like monsters. Why dont this American film maker Josua something make a documentary about his own country??

    And I’m wondering, why this film is free, and he hopes people in Indonesia will pirate his movie, how do they get the benefit?? Oscar?? :P I watched this filem but after 15 minutes, I gave up. I think this documentary movie is a low budget piece of bullshit that the director just hired people without paid to save his production budget

    • sab

      this filme is free, because being funded by Tapol. Foreoin organization the the UK. Remember, which country who support Free Papua, UK…

      • Heyna

        I prefer all the time to get rid of or reduce relationship with sunset country to a stand still. You can get that clarified from Assange and equadorian embassy or millions of Iraqis. They also butchered aborigines in Australia. I believe time is right for USA to down grade UK to the lowest rank in relationship, they just can’t do much at all while begging bowls are biggest in EU.

      • kopi hitam

        awwww… I got it!!!!!!! they talk about human rights but they have hidden agenda!!!

  • masmon2

    The only thing that matters is the truth and it is time that the whole truth is told. The thousands of dead deserve nothing less.
    All actors in this tragedy must be highlighted including those foreign governments who gave their tacit appoval to this tragedy and those that were actively involved.
    The movie (“documentary”) itself is a brilliant masterpiece, however some of its nuances may be lost on some viewers.

    No country can keep 1 million deaths hidden forever – it is time for a Truth and Reconciliation Comisson is set up similar to what Mandela did in South Africa. However so long as the military are still in power this will never be allowed to happen.

  • TalkingEid

    You sound just like a Nazi trying to justify persecution of Jews “Most of the resentments towards chinese or arabs come from the fact that
    those ethnics are, most often than not, in better social status and
    welfare than the Indonesian Malay, so it is more of social jealousy than
    racism that ignited the hostile attitude.” Just substitute the word “Jews” for “chinese or arabs’ and you post could have been written by Dr Goebbels.

    • Hypocrite Buster

      I bet he doesn’t know who Goebbels was. The level of knowledge and reading here is limited to whatever they had to memorize at school. I stopped posting on this thread, until now, after reading typical deny and deflect genetic tendency of most local posters (few exceptions though including you), aggravated by ignorance of independent outside reports of what actually happened to their country, other than New Order propaganda (school texts, television documentaries, media write ups, spewed day in day out every August) which they swallowed hook line and sinker.

      • DanielKaimana

        Who can dare to say without any doubt that Chinese in this country are all innocent? @talkingeid:disqus Don’t play that game dear boy. Fact never lies.

        • TalkingEid

          No one claimed all Chinese are innocent. However, certain racists seem to want to label them all as guilty.

    • Paul

      Far away from Goebbels. Very far away. You just want to destroy reflections of others, who doesn’t share your opinion with your shortsighted lowbrow comments. YOU are the real Nazi here.

  • Wei-Lim Chan

    As a Western living in Bali you never heard it. Bali was the an epicenter of 1965. IF you want to watch what happened in Bali in 1965, go watch 40 years of Silence: Indonesian Tragedy. It tells the tale of two victims in Bali, among 2 victims in Java. The Bali experience is very different from the Medan one, its worse. Respected members of the community participated in the killing in Bali. Its estimated 5% of the Population of Bali was wiped out. Every village in Bali has a mass grave. Bali was the Killing Fields of 1965. What happened in Medan is nothing compared to Bali.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2012/12/2012121874846805636.html

    • DanielKaimana

      True, something bk24 missed and they were not Chinese.. They were relatives who killed each other due to ideology.

  • Wei-Lim Chan

    Its not deflection. What use is it if you get an make Indonesia apologize, but the Egyptian military kills innocent MB protesters in Egypt? Tell me. It means the nobody has learned a lesson. Assad is using the same fear of Islamic extremism to his advantage. The West if even more culpable in he Middle East than in Indonesia, because it encourage the protest, than withheld aid once the a result emerged they didn’t like.

    For most people the point of the film is really about role as an audience. The Indonesians public hailed these people as heroes. Is the West any more different today in the Middle East? You are not brave enough to face the reality, there is not much difference.

    • TalkingEid

      It;s deflection – because it’s about a different topic. Yes, there is blood on the hands of many nations and many people – no, we cannot deal with them all as 1 issue.
      Can you imagine a murder trial where the accused says “Oh, you cannot deal with my case, so many other murderers have never been put on trial”? Even in Indonesia that defence would be seen as pure nonsense.
      Let others deal with Assad in due course. Let Algerians deal with what happened there. Let others deal the Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood too (strange how you didn’t include them).

      Attempts like yours to include Indonesia as some kind of global problem are nonsense, pointless, and an attempt to deflect attention form our own sordid past.

      • Wei-Lim Chan

        Its not about a different issue. If the US treated Communist as people, rather than people to be feared, they would have told Suharto to stop.

        Oppenheimer movie main focus is not about Indonesia, its the human condition. Its universal. The bigger issue is not just seeking justice after genocide has happened, but preventing it from happening in the first place.

        If the message of the film is to merely let these things happen and deal with it later, than its a movie not worth watching. to be frank. Demonetization of people happens all the time, and it causes us to treat people as less than human. Its happening in Indonesia in 1965 and in Middle East now.

        If you just merely see this film about Indonesia in 1965, and a tool to bash the Indonesia to do the X, then seriously its a merely political vehicle, no better than if the PKI itself produced it.

        IF all you are going to do is, is say that anyone who criticizes the films “deflection”, you are no better than the Indonesian Government. Indonesia is at least free enough, so you can actually post comments here. You try that in Algeria.

  • Wei-Lim Chan

    Again you didn’t clarify, you just said reform. Take for example land reform. South Korea and Taiwan were helped by the US in terms of land reform. The US basically forced both of them to carry out land reform, to forestall any potential Communist infiltration from North Korea and China. In Taiwan’s case the KMT did not have ties to the local landlords, so it was not problem fo them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_reform_in_Taiwan

    There are other advantages, homogenous population, higher literacy, higher pre-WW2 per capita incomes, better industrial base What land reform does is spreads the wealth/income around. Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan in 1960s had similar levels of inequality.

    Secondly, you talk about cronyism, how is that any different from Taiwan? Where gangster infiltrate all levels of society. You are going around in circles. In Taiwan, the business/political/gangster elite are more intertwined than in Indonesia. In Indonesia its much separate, because of ethnicity. Chinese here don’t really go into politics.

    I think you play the preman card (like Oppenheimer) too much. The biggest problem in Indonesia is not premen, its corrupt officials / police. In all my life in Indonesia I have never dealt with a premen, but corrupt officials many times.

  • espresso

    good point, when US army dropped Atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they said; “it’s to end the wars”

    Poor innocent civiliants who never give a damn about this conflict had to be killed in a horrible way. in 1965, If we don’t kill Communist they will kill us, too.

    Communist butchered a lot of people, but not all communist are bad and butcher.

    • kopi hitam

      in 1965, If we don’t kill Communist they will kill us, too. –> I dont agree with this question, but it’s true, communist killed people in villages way before 1965, one of them in West Sumatra, I remember, older people in my village told me how cruel they are, they said, when communist and Sukarno’s troop conquered Central Sumatra, situation was like hell. They said, they wanted to come back in normal era, when the Dutch rule our land. When Dutch ruled this land, they’re very respect to Penghulu, datuk and women. In communist era, they killed and raped people as they want.

  • Sab

    “Oppenheimer is exactly doing what Soeharto’s New Order regime has done, but this time it is the other way around” Yosef Djakababa

    I appreciate Oppenheimer’s groundbreaking approach in filming a sensitive and controversial topic. However, I am utterly disappointed with the lack of historical context in this documentary. The complicity of the period in which the mass killings took place is radically (if not pathetically) reduced into a few lines shown in the very beginning of the film. Plenty of evidences have shown how the events in the “1965 Indonesia” are very complex in nature. For example, the victims and survivors are not all the members of the Communist party or its affiliates, many of them are Sukarno loyalist and strong followers of the state ideology Pancasila.

    Another misleading point of the documentary is the portrayal of Pancasila through the Pemuda Pancasila, a militant group consisting of radical youths and thugs. This focus could send a deceptive message that Pancasila is simply a “bad ideology” that blinds people. While this argument might be true for some, many others would think otherwise. I think the problem lies on the interpretation and implementation. All ideologies are subject to radical interpretation that perhaps leads to suppression and violence, but reducing Pancasila into merely a group of thugs would dangerously simplify not only the ideology itself but also the whole historical context of the atrocities in 1965-66.

    With the lack of historical context, juxtaposing the act of killings, the perpetrators, and Pancasila suggests a simple opposition of evil versus good. Oppenheimer is exactly doing what Soeharto’s New Order regime has done, but this time it is the other way around. The New Order’s infamous film “Pemberontakan G.30.S/PKI” (some called it “Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI”) simplifies the narrative by depicting the evil Communists performs torture and acts of killings in their effort to get rid of Pancasila. What Oppenheimer does in “The Act of Killing” is the same simplification with the reverse protagonist and antagonists. He depicts the State sponsored perpetrators as the loyal Pancasilasupporters who are eagerly wanting to get rid of the Communists. Highlighting this group as the representative of Pancasila ideology is just simply misleading. In my opinion, Pemuda PancasilaCANNOT be seen to be the only representative of Pancasilaideology nor their actions as the typical mindset of Pancasilafollowers. It is just the same by suggesting FPI (Front Pembela Islam) as the representative of Indonesian Islam, which they are NOT! This fact troubles me the most about the movie.

    I understand that it is impossible to tell a complete story of “1965 event” in a documentary and I do not expect “The Act of Killing” to reconstruct the “1965 event” narrative. But I think it is still critical to establish at least a proper context to explain why the perpetrators; Anwar Congo and his friends, did what they did. In the private screening that I attended, most people were disturbed by this movie. Many were also at lost and raised the following intriguing questions; Why can Anwar and his friends be so brutal but yet seems cool and happy in telling/reenacting their experience? What triggered them at that time to easily kill people, certainly not only because of the declining income from the cinema where they worked as told by one of the perpetrators? Why they suddenly becoming sadistic and so proud of what they did? Why they were hailed as heroes in a TV show depicted in the movie? The documentary barely touches these questions, let alone provide hint to answer them. Interestingly, most of the audience also wanted to know what is the motivation of the filmmaker in making “The act of killing.”

    Whatever the motivation could be, this documentary contributes to the debates around the “1965 event.” Better understanding of the historical context is a must to grasp the violence in 1965-66. One former political prisoner, who endured New Order incarceration in Buru Island, confided to me in an interview. He wanted to know and understand the whole reason why the government put someone like him (who were not a member of PKI) into a remote prison camp without any trial, and why he had to endured years of physical and mental suffering along with discrimination after being released. That being said; even someone who experienced first hand the turbulent period of 1965-1966 still has many questions about the nature of the conflict let alone those who did not live through that period.

    I want to be clear that I am not condoning nor sympathizing with Anwar Congo or other perpetrators of the mass killings. I also do not support any repressive and violent acts even if a religion, state or a person sponsors and “legitimizes” it. I only wish to see the multifaceted aspects of the “1965 event” not only being shown as a simplified black and white, good versus evil campaign, as the Soeharto’s New Order regime has done for years. Since the fall of Soeharto in 1998, scholars, activists and a number of human rights groups have worked so hard to debunk a simplified New Order version of “1965 event.” Unfortunately, “The Act of Killing” has the potential to repeat the mistake that the New Order regime has done by showing certain aspects of the “1965 event” (the perpetrators point of view) in a merely simplified black and white, good versus evil manner.

    Could a national reconciliation emerge from “The Act of Killing”? It is hard to tell. I think the otherwise would likely to happen; reconciliation will be even more difficult to attain. The movie not only sends a message and portrays how brutal and violent the Indonesian people could be, but it also tells the supporters of PKI, victims and survivor of 1965-1966 tragedies that they should not dig into the past or otherwise they will be dealing with another potential violent repercussions; a fact that is suggested in some parts of the movie. Indonesians need to find peaceful ways in dealing with the troubled past by critically re-learning its history. Without knowledge and good will, history tends to repeat itself.

    Nonetheless, I still recommend people to go and see, “The Act of Killing” aka “Jagal”, but one must observe it very cautiously and critically. Furthermore, I would strongly urge those who will or have already watched this film to seek as much as possible additional information about “the 1965 event” from many different perspectives: both from the “winners” and from the “losers.” Finding additional information is crucial in order to learn and have broader knowledge about how difficult and complex the situation when the mass killings took place. And hopefully we can all work together and find peaceful means in dealing with our nation’s troubled past so that we can move on and not to repeat the same mistakes.

    • Hypocrite Buster

      “I am utterly disappointed with the lack of historical context in this documentary”. If you scroll down this thread, you will see an insightful post by one PakMamat. He posits that “the old New Order is still very much in power” in a well reasoned argument. There is a response to PakMamat from Oppenheimer, using moniker The Act of Killing, where he says “This is brilliant – and exactly the vision of the current regime I have tried to present in The Act of Killing”.
      So has it occurred to you that historical context may not be the object of the documentary? After all with a bit of googling and some reading you can get a lot of background and historical information for the 1965 tragedy, from both local and foreign sources. Why just depend on the documentary to teach your own history.

      • DanielKaimana

        Sab has very good points. Now you mentioned about New Order is till in power, historical context is not merely a matter of state-people relation. People-people relation is also a determining factor in seeing the history as a whole. Sab is right to encourage to see complexity rather than letting a bias film proudeced by whoever he is, teaching us history. I wonder if Oppenheimer understands what he is doing.

    • Wei-Lim Chan

      I agree with your response. Many people who watched it, didn’t read Oppenheimer interviews, I have. He has a political ideology and agenda.

      He would have constructed a balanced picture if he had interviews a variety of killers not just from Pemuda Pancasila (who were not the majority of the killers). He interviewed many killers, but choose to take only Pemuda Pancasila. No one from Islamic Groups and former military. I am not questioning why he did it, I am just questioning the way he went about doing it. People have criticized me for raising the view that I am whitewashing the events, my view is that it was a lot more serious and bloody than the film makes it out to be.

  • jaytee

    The PKI kidnapped the army generals for sure, how can you deny that?
    well, so it’s going to be easy for you to provide for the proof then!

  • Paul

    Finally you accepted the connections “Let’s see” mentioned. A good start to realize how global policy works.

  • Hypocrite Buster

    You don’t understand what PakMamat writes. He is saying if leaders care for the future of the nation at least as much as their own, if “more than $400 billion that Indonesia has received in mining and
    oil/gas revenue over the last decade” has not vanished (by corruption and cronyism), Indonesia today should in fact be more prosperous than South Korea or Taiwan, countries with scanty natural resources. He is also saying if the country has been managed like Timur Leste it should by now have $3.5 trillion in foreign reserves instead of mere $99 billion. He relates this self interest on the part of the leaders as the main reason the tragedy of 1965 will not be investigated. Actually not difficult to understand what he says if you read with open mind.

    • Wei-Lim Chan

      $400 Billion is a drop in the bucket. That is $150 / per Indonesian. The amount lost to corruption after expenses is small. Indonesia is not as rich as many people think… Assuming that a large part of Taiwan/Korea’s success is due to clean government is simplistic. Yes Indonesia does have to improve corruption, but once you reach a certain point,the returns you get from eliminating it diminish, In Taiwan/ROK case,its most likely they became less corrupt as they grew richer,

      More importantly is the type of policies you adopt. You can adopt the wrong policies, and you can be clean as a whistle and you will remain poor. South Korea and Taiwan in the early 1960s turned away from import substitution and focused on exports (comparative advantage) at the time when no one else was doing it. They had 10 year head start over Singapore, and 25-30 years head start over Indonesia. say

      Secondly, the argument of Timor Leste is a funny one. So by the logic Sweden with its $53 Billion in reserves is mismanaged whereas Norway with $750 Billion Sovereign Fund .from Oil and Gas right. So is its due to the corrupt leadership of Sweden that they don’t have 750 Billion in Reserves. I could make a similar argument with Brunei and Malaysia.

      There is no magic bullet. Economist / geographers spend their whole lives try to answer the question “How does a country become rich?” I feel that the people are taking the film to an absurd conclusion,that if corruption was wiped out and all the killers and the elites behind bars, all of Indonesia’s problem will disappear. But if FPI and Pemuda Pancasila was to disappear tomorrow, it will not stop your average Indonesian bureaucrat from asking for a bribe. Its simplistic (and dangerous) to link killers = corrupter. That they can’t be mutually exclusive.

      That is why I find the film troubling, because there are many killers out there (the majority), the Muslim groups and the average TNI grunt, who killed many, who did not gain any monetary benefit at all. People did it because they were forced to,or they actually felt it was the right thing to do. In places like Bali/Java, the ideological (secular vs religious) factor becomes much more important,than the opportunism found in among the Premen in Medan.
      .

      .

  • http://somewhere.com/ FMN

    You talked way too much about your ‘neighbor’ and his crimes, everywhere. Which neighborhood you’re living anyway?

    • TalkingEid

      the world – the real one, not the one you would like us all to live in.

  • Botak

    High ranked members of the Nazi party = politicians

    High ranked Army officers got hanged.

    • Paul

      Sorry, Botak. It’s off topic.

      • TalkingEid

        that’s pretty funny from someone who says “no need to focus on Indonesia only”.

  • masmon2

    Sab, this is just deflection as TalkingEid has pointed out.

  • TalkingEid

    It wasn’t exactly easy to bring various German and other mass-muderers to justice. Should we only do easy things?

    • Paul

      It is incomparable and off topic.

      • TalkingEid

        but rainforests are relevant?

  • Wei-Lim Chan

    If you want these things to continue in the future, keep thinking that way and it will.

    • TalkingEid

      It will keep happening again – as long as we refuse to acknowledge the issue – Indonesians killing Indonesians.

  • Wei-Lim Chan

    I find it disturbing that alot of Westerners are washing their hands, and saying its not our fault,we didn’t pull the trigger. I find it troubling, because other countries don’t have to be accountable for what their allies did during the Cold War or even now. Take China for example. There are many Chinese when they found out what Polpot did in Cambodia feel sorry that China supported Khmer Rouge. The same situation can be seen in China with its support of North Korea. Many Chinese don’t feel that its right for China to support the DPRK. How can the West pressure China, when it does not take at least some responsibility for 1965. North Korea is far more important to China strategically than Indonesia is to the US, and some Chinese are willing to pull the plug.

    • Dewi Rainny

      And that’s the message in the film. The West directly aided the 1965 mass killings. US did mass killings to native American, and they justify it through heroic Holywood western film. They use the story telling in a way that not so much different with “Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI.” It is because Soeharto & Bush are the winners, they write the history, and define war crimes.

  • prodopo

    Add to that list France, Spain, Britain and definitely the USA. Sadly, they have not all apologized for those sins. The CIA’s involvement in 1965 is well documented, and that’s one of many examples. So far no sign of apology or acknowledgement. Surely a documentary should present a complete picture especially when it’s dealing with such an awful event. I also wonder if the academy award nomination would have materialized if there had been a focus on Western involvement. The only suggestion I can see in Oppenheimer’s movie is the hint at the beginning that the coup might have been staged.

  • Hypocrite Buster

    Almost to a man local posters (guessing from the uneven English) here are zealous in “defending” their country in the light of the 1965 tragedy. Their points of defence follow the predictable pattern of deny and deflect. Deny it ever happened and even if it did it was either by those bad commies PKI or by traitorous people helped by Western powers. Deflect it by saying other countries had dark past too, so it was alright. Leaving aside third world countries such as Somalia and Cambodia, they forget that Western countries had apologised and taken reconciliatory steps for their past misdeeds.

    Simple internet research will reveal the following:

    1. The growth of PKI was aided, wittingly or otherwise, by Sukarno or at least not curtailed by him when he introduced “guided democracy” and Nasakom (NASionalisme, Agama and KOMunisme) as state ideologies.

    2. Western powers led by US were alarmed at the world’s 4th most populous country harbouring the largest communist party outside Soviet and China

    3. There are CIA documents proving that 30 September 1965 event was aided by US but executed by a faction of the Indonesian army. The objective was to overthrow Sukarno by force, and thereby cut short PKI influence. Selected army top brass were executed to avoid backlash

    4. There is no solid proof the event was initiated by PKI (that was later propaganda during Suharto’s era)

    5. There are testaments on record including the report by Komnas HAM http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/archive/komnas-ham-report-lays-blame-for-1965-6-killings-primarily-on-suharto/ that the subsequent mass killings of at least 500,000 people, alleged PKI members and sympathisers, point to Suharto. This Komnas HAM report was shot down by DPR.

    6. Following the fall of Suharto, DPR passed Law No. 26/2000 setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate, and suggest remedial steps, the mass killings. SBY sat on it without appointing any Commission member until the Constitutional Court annulled the law in 2006. An academic conference regarding the killings was held in Singapore in 2009.

    7. The killings have been largely omitted from Indonesian history textbooks, which depicted the killings as a “patriotic campaign” that resulted in less than 80,000 deaths. In 2004, the textbooks were briefly changed to include the events, but this new curriculum was abandoned in 2006 following protests from the military and Islamic groups. The textbooks which mentioned the mass killings were subsequently burnt by order of Indonesia’s Attorney General.

    Further readings: (a) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_September_Movement ; (b) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_killings_of_1965%E2%80%931966#Developments_after_the_resignation_of_Suharto

    • prodopo

      A reasonably factual post, but do you have records of the CIA apologizing for its involvement in 1965? As you say: “Western countries had apologised and taken reconciliatory steps for their past misdeeds.” I’m not sure this has happened.

    • William C

      I think its bad to stereotype. I don’t agree with Indonesians going about pointing at what the West did under colonization, but I do think the West should be responsible to an extant for propping up and allowing Suharto regime to do what the did. You can’t suddenly say now, we have nothing to do with X, or its 100% Indonesia’s problem. Those points you represented are largely rue (with one or two distortions), but don’t give the complete picture.

      1) The US feared Indonesia turning Communist, not just because of the fear of Communism, but the fact that Indonesia was threatening and attacking Singapore and Malaysia. The PKI throughout much of the 1950s was nationalist first, communist second.They pushed Sukarno to attack Dutch New Guinea with Soviet help. They launch raids into Malaysia. Sukarno was buying large amounts of arms from Soviet Union and China.

      2) As for CIA involvement. The honest answer is we don’t know. Oppenheimer interview some retired CIA officers, but its not a smoking gun.
      And even if there was aid,it was very small. The most most important thing the US did was to give him the markets, aid and loans that propped up the regime. Secondly, there is no soild proof that the military/CIA was ever involved in the killings of 6 generals, ad their is no solid proof that the PKI was involved either.

      3) Your last few points are correct. But Oppenheimer in nearly all his interviews, keeps on badgering how revolutionary the book is.
      That no one was talking about ,1965 in Indonesia prior to the Act of Killing.That there is a climate of fear. That is not true.

      The problem with the Indonesian government it doesn’t know whether to deflect, deny or acknowledge. Indonesian governments are coalition of interest and elites, so I don’t think anyone will be getting a straight answer soon. Why do you think the Indonesians don’t know about it, but are just being defensive. Its not as if the Jakarta Globe hasn’t ran stories about1965 before. They have been doing it for a long time,

      http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/archive/the-forgotten-history-of-1965/
      http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/archive/little-government-remorse-evident-over-indonesias-1965-killings/

      People like Oppenheimer see it merely as a way to bash Suharto’s New Order and parties tied most closely to it. Once Indonesia report truthfully about the 1965, its only fair that schools educate students the conditions Indonesia was facing in 1950s. The military had pretty good reasons at least for banning the PKI, those should be presented also.. It would also mean critiquing the gross mismanagement of the economy under Sukarno will have to be exposed. Criticizing Sukarno for his military adventurism and grandiose projects, when people were starving.

      For someone who actually has never visited Indonesia during the New Order, its presumptuous to assume that what Oppenheimer found in Medan in 2002 .is representative of Indonesia during all 31 years of the Suharto rule. Remember Medan is the most gangster infested city in Indonesia.
      Suharto is a complicated figure, much like Mao in China. Gus Dur said “Suharto did alot of good for Indonesia, but he also had a lot of sins.” Among historians, Mao’s whole legacy is debated, and Suharto deserves a fair assessment.also.

      • Hypocrite Buster

        I don’t stereotype. I describe a local tendency to deny and deflect which is obvious from reading this thread and others when the perceived Indonesian “honour” is at stake. But thankfully there is already acceptance that institutional corruption is rife – it wasn’t if you read this paper’s forum say in 2010.
        I love this country. I wish very much it gets to the bottom of things rather than just denying and deflecting and at best papering the crack. Things like rainforest destruction, annual forest slash and burn clearing, inhumane treatment of animals (cattle at abattoirs, orang utans, Surabaya Zoo, etc), corruption (muscle to KPK to investigate TNI, more specialist manpower to KPK, etc), 1998 killings of students and Chinese, mysterious killings Petrus during Suharto, murder of Munir, etc. And now the 1965 killings.
        As to your numbered points:

        1. Yes, there was indeed several armed incursions into Malaysian territories. Not so much the US but Britain and Australia did station troops to assist Malaysia, under the mutual protection treaty among certain Commonwealth countries.

        2. There are documents to indicate CIA’s involvement though limited to supply of information: “the CIA actually compiled detailed lists of those it deemed dangerous and supplied them to Suharto’s forces who ensured those so named were eliminated in the mass killing operations.” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_killings_of_1965%E2%80%931966#Foreign_involvement_and_reaction paragraph under Foreign Involvement and Reaction for the citations.
        3. Oppenheimer did make one post somewhere below in this thread using moniker The Act of Killing. Do check.

        • William C

          Unfortunately you do stereotype. As if other people are any better. If you go on discussion forums about India, China, US, Japan you are bound to find people deflectingl,, finding double standards. Its not unique to Indonesians,unfortunately your own biases prevent you from seeing that.

          Please stop taking all your information from wikipedia, because in another wikipedia article they say there is no proof that list were ever created. Some critical thinking is in order, list of 5000 was provided,they end up killing 500000. The Indonesians most likely have those 5000. Its immaterial.

          As for Oppenheimer agreeing with Pak Mamat. What Pak Mamat is saying,that the sins of the Suharto regime start with the killings and all the corruption is somehow tied to it. Pemuda Pancasila were the murderers, now they are the people extorting the money. How long have you been in Indonesia? Since the 1970s? How much do you know about Indonesian history from 1949-now, not just selectively bits here and there. Oppenheimer starts at 1965 and then fast forward to 2002 when he first came to Indonesia, missing all the parts in the middle.

          Suharto/Indonesia in the early 1970 is different from Suharto in the late 1990s. Power and money corrupts. Suharto still had people around who openly challenged him. Suharto then slowly solidify his power and silenced his critics. It a mistake to believe all opponents of Suharto disagree with 1965. You can support 1965, and denounce Suharto. Suharto and people who remained loyal to him until the end are pilloried, but those who backed and executed 1965, but later turned critics of Suharto in 1965 some how are less guilty? Are they?

          Oppeneheimer and Pak Mamat are overreaching. The vast majority of the killers and military men involved in the massacre didn’t end up extorting and robbing Indonesia. Most of the corruption is done by people who have no connection to 1965.

          • Hypocrite Buster

            Ok I stereotype. Ok everyone, not just Indonesian, denies and deflects uncomfortable truth. Ok Oppenheimer and PakMamat are overreaching themselves.

            Agreed with everything you say. Can we now go to the main issue? As I repeatedly said elsewhere in this thread, the main issue is this: when will Indonesia get to the bottom of 1965 killings? DPR passed the law to set up Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2004 (after 4 years of stalling). The Commission was tasked to investigate and make recommendations on the 1965 tragedy. SBY sat on the list of proposed Commission members for a year without appointing any. Because his father in law Sarwo Eddie was involved in the killings? One wonders but probably not. Then suddenly, as if on cue, the law was declared unconstitutional by Constitutional Court in 2006. End of story. Then last year Komnas HAM sent their report on the killings to DPR pointing figure at Suharto. It was shot down by DPR. End of story. See (not Wikipedia) http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/archive/komnas-ham-report-lays-blame-for-1965-6-killings-primarily-on-suharto/ . Repeat, when will Indonesia get to the bottom of 1965 killings. Let alone 1998 killings of students and Chinese. Let alone….

            I echo what JG 24 January editorial says: ” the movie should motivate us to once and for all find justice for the victims and dig deeper to point out those responsible for the massacre. As a nation that still faces so many other human rights violations, we can’t live in denial and pretend everything is fine. It’s time to end denial and impunity”. See (not Wikipedia) http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/editorial-act-of-killing-must-force-introspection/

          • DanielKaimana

            Actually you have already answered your question “when will Indonesia get to the bottom of 1965 killings?” First of all the term you used “killings” is not neutral. It’s not as simple as, say for instance, Western soldiers for no reason killed innocent Muslims children and women everywhere.

            Secondly, you already know the complication of the history and how ppl from different groups reacted/react to it.

            Thirdly, we will someday talk it over without tensions, without prejudice who was right/ who was wrong. It will show it itself out of your box. But we will be there.. The Act of Killing unfortunately is not helping..

          • TalkingEid

            “the term you used “killings” is not neutral” – it is neutral in most peoples eyes – only a racist would see some of the killings of 1965 as different to others.

          • DanielKaimana

            Most people eyes? Who the most people are? Those who have small-eyes or big-eyes but clueless? Who?

      • Ian Thomson

        History cannot be denied. However, U.S. paranoia with Communism has killed millions and cost billions. With the end of communism they have transferred this paranoia to Muslims. They need to be aware that only a very small minority of Muslims are radical terrorists.
        America must have an “enemy”, in large part to justify the maintenance of a very large military-industrial complex.
        How many American sons have died for little or no other reason?

  • prodopo

    “A worthy film for an Academy Award” No it’s not because it is only prickly and uncomfortable for Indonesians. It should be for all concerned parties. There is a real Academy Award friendly safety in the way it skirts all mention of foreign involvement in the horrendous events of 1965.

  • DanielKaimana

    Who says that ok to do so? Read between the lines baby boy..

    • TalkingEid

      I have trouble reading your lines, never mind between them.

  • DanielKaimana

    Nope. Those are facts.. Everyday we witness how some groups of people on this earth with their machine guns and power fancy to kill innocent women and children. It’s on telly and newspapers.. Nobody asks them for apology.

  • DanielKaimana

    Western apology??? What do you mean? Do I watch different channels and read different news every day? They are killing people at the second I write this comment and they think they are champs.. Hellow…

    • Parajonda

      Read again, dude. You replied to wrong person.

      • DanielKaimana

        Yes, I’m on agreement with what you said.

  • TalkingEid

    Indeed – it’s a bit like someone accused of murder saying “you shouldn’t prosecute me, someone else told me to do it”. They maybe well have ‘told them to do it” but the fact remains that Indonesians murdered Indonesians – people are responsible, and should be held responsible, for their actions, whatever their motivations.

  • TalkingEid

    Oh well, it makes a change from “Allah told me to do it.”

    • Paul

      What is wrong with you? That’s what I mean. This lowbrow comments without any sense. Stop it. How old are you?

      • Valkyrie1604

        Don’t you realize it was a rude question? Like HB stated, you are not able to appreciate wit and cynicism.

        • Paul

          Yes, this kind of “wit” and cynicism is totally misplaced for this topic.

          • Valkyrie1604

            No, I don’t think it was a a sneeringly distrustful comment at all! Actually you defaulted by asking someone in a public forum…”how old are you?” Do I sense sarcasm there too?

  • TalkingEid

    So you disagree with me, when I say that someone made a statement worthy of the Nazi’s, so I am acting like a Nazi? George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.

    • Paul

      Stop deflecting and ignoring like usual. It is far away from a Nazi statement. Read it one more time and apologise for your wrong statement to Roofies. YOU are the Nazi here. What is wrong with you???

  • DanielKaimana

    Hahaha…

    • TalkingEid

      I agree this time Daniel – he makes me laugh too.

  • TalkingEid

    Laughing even harder now – perhaps you don’t know about the Nuermberg Laws? Kristallnacht? Or the estimated 210,000 German Jews murdered?
    Please let us know for future reference what events we are allowed to talk about as relevant, and which are not. Now that you have been appointed arbiter of what is on topic or not, it would be helpful if you could at least outline which issues are fit for our consideration.

    • Paul

      Don’t laugh. This is not a funny topic here. Is it just a joke for you, giving these abstruse comments here? I already said it’s incomparable. Don’t mix it up.

  • TalkingEid

    Of course I have. Have you ever heard of “Personal responsibility”? If you ever find yourself in court, accused of a crime, perhaps you can try that defence “Someone else told me to do it”. Good luck with that.

  • TalkingEid

    Of course I am responding with emotion – it’s a very emotional topic, and your postings, if not designed to raise emotions, certainly succeeded in doing so. “The vast majority of the PKI got what was coming to them” – torture, imprisonment and beheading?
    And you compare people like Oppenheimer to the PKI – which sanction would you give to makers of this film?

  • The Patient

    Moving to another planet will make your dream come true.

  • prodopo

    You have completely missed my point. All parties are guilty no blame can be deflected.. except that by conveniently forgetting to mention it “THe Act” deflects blame away from Western involvement, which was very real. Also, this was not accidental. I’m sure that Oppenheimer was aware that movies that are critical of the West don’t win awards. Just look at the roasting that John Pilger. If you aren’t aware of his work, have a look at “the war on democracy” You can watch it on You tube.

    • Hypocrite Buster

      I am afraid it’s you who have missed the point, the main point.
      In any comment forum in an online newspaper such as JG there’s oftentimes the tendency to raise and pick up circumstantial issues, as the forum progresses. But those circumstantial issues, like matters arising in a formal board of directors discussion, are NOT the main point itself.

      Sure, CIA did play a role, though mainly limited to supply of information : “the CIA actually compiled detailed lists of those it deemed dangerous and supplied them to Suharto’s forces who ensured those so named were eliminated in the mass killing operations”. Sure, a ” top secret CIA report describes the massacre as “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century.”” See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian_killings_of_1965%E2%80%931966#Foreign_involvement_and_reaction .

      But those however interesting are still circumstantial issues which cloud the main point. If you read many of the comments here (including the excellent one from PakMamat and the response by Oppenheimer himself) as a whole instead of instead of in bits you will get the main point. The main point is: Mistake is mistake, tragedy is tragedy, but to move on you need to clear, to exorcise the ghost hovering above your head. How? Establish an independent national commission to investigate, analyse and suggest reconciliatory/remedial measures. This is what Komnas HAM is in effect currently asking DPR isn’t it? This was what the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was for, wasn’t it? DPR took four long years to pass the law establishing the Commission but when passed, it was sat upon by SBY (because, as Wong Edan says above, his father in law involved?). Then as if on cue the Constitutional Court shot the Commission down as unconstitutional in 2006 (and we know Constitutional Court can be “bought”). That is the main point, the main thrust of many posters especially Westerners here, not this deny and deflect coming from the palace via Teuku Faizasyah, the presidential spokesman for foreign affairs.

  • DanielKaimana

    just watch telly and read newspapers

  • antifreeze

    Oppenheimer and his Indonesian associates who must remain anonymous ( including the Indonesian co – director) invested 10 years of their lives making this film – see interviews on you tube. . He never pretended to make a standard documentary, he’s not a historian. Please accept that this is not some whimsical political protest wish on his part.

    If it does win the Oscar it will be because he has ( as an artist) taken the whole art of documentary film making to a new level that’s never been seen before. It is a seminal step in the documentary art that will be watched and marveled at for decades to come whether it wins the Oscar or not.

    It’s subject matter is an illustration of the evil that men do in the actual words of the very same. It is I agree difficult to not see it a condemnation of a dark era in which many were culpable for. The Oscars are there to laud the art of film making – and it is in this way savagely original. It’s not specifically about Indonesia but rather the way that Like the concentration camp guards in Nazi Germany and many other tools of oppression foolish nondescript people can get caught up and cooperate in a sort of shared madness due to their all too human failings and weaknesses combined with ill education and hence lack of judgement. In one sense they made the film not him

    Your heart is in the right place when it comes to your horror and condemnation of what occurred, I would just say, with the greatest respect, he intends nothing personal and loves Indonesia as you and I do, and wants it to exorcise the demons of it’s past and having done so look to the future. Surely he must at least be acknowledged for trying in his own way to do that.

    Even if you feel he should of gone about it in a different way he surely deserves to be heard – give him that at least.

  • TalkingEid

    still waiting……..

  • William C

    The whole point of Suharto’s coup was to put the military in a position to ban the PKI.

    Why did they want to ban the PKI.

    1) PKI was causing trouble by attacking Malaysia. The military did not want to fight Malaysia, which would mean fighting the West.

    2) When the Republic was form in 1949, the Central Government made a deal with all the hundreds of local sultans the central government would strip them of their political power and titles, but allow them to keep their wealth and land. If the PKI came to power, they would institute land reform, and it would undermine the compromise the central government had made in 1949. The consequence would be break up of Indonesia. TNI did not have the means to enforce land reform. .

  • prodopo

    Good question and difficult to answer in detail. To find an appropriate way of dealing with the plight of the victims it would be necessary to talk to quite a lot of them. There must be millions whose family members where killed and who were subsequently confined to the periphery of Indonesian society because they had had PKI members in their families. A focus on these people would add weight to any movie on this topic and leave viewers in full knowledge of the gravity of what they were watching. In a perfect movie there would also be an exposure of the extent of US involvement. There are many who don’t believe a PKI coup attempt ever happened, but rather that the whole murderous 7 generals event was orchestrated to topple Sukarno. The US were involved in some highly murderous campaigns in countries like Chile and El Salvador. May be people only know about those countries because stuff went wrong, while in Indonesia all went well and all evidence of US involvement was destroyed. A movie that exposed this would show that Indonesians .. the premans (plural?) are utter monsters, but it would show that there are other.. even bigger monsters pulling the strings. I think it is normal for important historical events to be described as fully as possible so maximum learning can take place. The army, the Indonesian gov. and other gov’s around the world really do need to come clean now. Especially as it’s a lot harder to keep secrets than it used to be.

  • TalkingEid

    and your point is what?

    • http://somewhere.com/ FMN

      My points in earlier post, this is just addendum

  • Paul

    How pathetic, you took it literally. If so, I advice you to step out of your nursery, grow up and get a job.

  • William C

    Yes the PKI attacked Malaysia.

    Basic Agrarian Law does explicitly say there will be redistribution of land from larger landholders to poorer landholder. There was redistribution from Dutch plantation to Indonesian farmers in 1950, but comprehensive land reform was never implemented. For Indonesia, there is no need to implement reform, you just ship people to the outer islands. That was Suharto’s solution.

  • TalkingEid

    I’m sorry – what are you trying to say? That it was the communists fault that so many people were murdered in Indonesia?

    • Paula

      Someone just give this guy the mic, cause he can talk all day on things people didn’t say. He has all the answers ready in his head.

      • TalkingEid

        Unlike those who never answer questions.

        • Paula

          Seriously, you can’t even pick up 1 point from many paragraphs FMN has written?

          You need to stop thinking:
          1) that people have time for you
          2) that every comment is against you, or got anything to do with you, or even an invitation for you to response for heaven’s sake.

  • Lone Wolf

    Indonesians don’t care about someone trying to cross the road, what chance does an alleged communist have. ?

    • Valkyrie1604

      Hmm….try using the Zebra crossing. A quick way to kill yourself.

  • Lone Wolf

    Sokarno also sent over 20+ Thousand Indonesians to their certain slow death building Japanese Railroads. Done so to please and appease the Japanese, and he is classed as a “hero” . ??? Blood on his hands, Same as any cheap political “lawmaker” today, Same as Anus.

  • JY

    China didn’t export “communism into this region”. Get your facts straight. A Communist party was founded by the Dutch Henk Sneevliet in 1914 in the then East Indies. Chinese Communist Party was founded in 1921.

  • TalkingEid

    So what is your point exactly?

  • TalkingEid

    So because the motives of the Nazis were different, and their targets different (although of course they were intent on eliminating communists too) the murders they committed cannot be compared to murders here?
    Well, you can try that argument in a court if you ever need to, but I have never been aware that motives were acceptable as a defence against a charge of murder.

  • estehmaniz

    @William C “Yes the PKI attacked Malaysia.”

    PKI did egg on Sukarno to attack but in the overall you should say
    Indonesia attacked Malaysia, technically Malaysia hadn’t been formed
    yet, there were Malaya, Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and NB/Sabah. Brunei was
    against it, Philippine also had claim of Sabah. Western text usually
    described Sukarno as close to a mad man. But what he did was not without
    grounds.
    Malaya, Indonesia, and the Philippine had agreed to use the
    UN to channel the aspiration of the people of North Borneo & Sarawak (NBS) for
    self-determination which resulted in the Manilla Accord in June 63, then
    July 63 they agreed for the greater confederation of Malaya,
    Philippine, and Indonesia (Maphilindo) as a realisation of Jose Rizal’s dream to unite the Malay-based countries. However in Sep 63 the Brits
    unilaterally formed their own federation of Malaysia that include their
    colonies in North Borneo.
    PKI convinced Sukarno this is a just the
    Brits idea to influence their colonial power in the region, probably
    knowing there were many left-leaning Chinese and Dayaks in the North
    Borneo.
    After the Japanese surrendered in 45, during the Allied occupation, the Brits brought in the Dutch back to Indonesia and the Dutch accused Sukarno collaborated with the Japanese to create a Japanese puppet Republic in Dutch East Indies. This led to a brutal Independence war, Sukarno still had the trauma from this experience so it stands to reason that he questioned the Brits unilateral approaches in NBS without consulting the affected countries who mutually agreed on using the UN to determine the NBS status.
    Two years later, Singapore seceded from Malaysia.
    What’s funny is, during Konfrontasi, China repeatedly condemned Malaysia as a neocolonialist plot to persecute the Chinese (oh the irony!). Zhou Enlai gave full support to Indonesia and stated that Malaysia is “a running dog of US and British imperalism” something we later hear as Malaysia’s accusation of Indonesia when Habibie let East Timor left Indonesia.
    Interesting how things had changed, Suharto regularly said that he didn’t like the Chinese and their influence to ASEAN (Cambodia), he *superstitiously* believed that the China communist would be the bane of Indonesia’s existence. Den Xiaoping tried hard to convince Indonesia and Malaysia that the enemy is the Soviet (Vietnam), not China, and he was against the Soviet influence to ASEAN. Suharto forced other ASEAN countries not to recognize China before Indonesia did, which speaks volume about his paranoia of communism.

    • William C

      The PKI did attack Malaysia using their own guerrilla units.. Malaysia was formed in 1963 The formation of Malaysia was the very reason why Indonesia launched Konfrontasi. First you say that Malaysia was not formed, then you say it was the reason why they attacked.

      I think it had less to do with Maphikindo than with Sukarno fearing a British puppet, and for the Philippines they had their own designs on Sabah.

      That is actually wrong, only Singapore recognized the PRC after Indonesia, all the other countries do so much earlier, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines (early 1970s).

      • estehmaniz

        “The formation of Malaysia was the very reason why Indonesia launched Konfrontasi.”

        That’s basically my point, the formation of Malaysia (by the Brits) without consulting Manilla accord/Maphilindo countries was the reason why Sukarno was convinced by PKI.

        Sukarno/Indonesia wanted Sabah/Sarawak countries to determine its status without other powers (the Brits), the formation of Malaysia by the Brits is the very reason why Sukarno accede to the idea of Konfrontasi, esp considering Brunei was against the idea and Philippine had an unsolvable claim over Sabah.
        Bad wording on my part about Malaysia hadn’t been formed, what I meant is that during the process of Manilla accord/Maphilindo, Malaysia hadn’t been formed yet. That’s why the exposition of: june 63, jul 63 and sep 63 (Malaysia formation).
        Saying the PKI attack Malaysia would only constitute half-truths at best as Sukarno did send soldiers to the border which means he oversaw the attack, and PKI perhaps acted as saboteurs and provocateurs, if at all.

        Who are the specific PKI people you mentioned here?
        Both Malaysia and Singapore consider this is an offence by country, not a political party.

        You are correct in saying only Singapore followed Indonesia in establishing relationship with PRC, and I was wrong on that one. However the rationale still holds: Suharto formed ASEAN to thwart the expansion of communism from Indochina to ASEAN, and he saw the Chinese in ASEAN countries would someday take over if ASEAN countries do not decimate it in its incipient stage.
        He saw small insurgencies in Malaysia and Thailand was due to the big number of the Chinese population (e.g. 40% in Malaysia) can lead to communist expansion where other communist power (Vietnam, Soviet) will take opportunity of. If Suharto could have forced Malaysia & Thai to not recognize China, he will, but he can’t for obvious reason.

        The fall of Saigon and the leaving of US military made Suharto even more paranoid.

        • William C

          First off you are chasing this Maphilindo thing. Its trivial.concern. LOOK at National Interest first, not some conference or meeting.

          As for your rational about Suharto and ASEAN, well that is silly. First off ASEAN was based on an older alliance between Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. In 1967, Suharto was too preoccupied with domestic matters to concern himself too much with foreign policy. Indonesia was included at behest of Singapore and Malaysia to tie Indonesia in a regional framework (go ask Lee Kuan Yew). He was there.

          Suharto was not as paranoid as you think, at least not as paranoid as some in the military. He blocked Indonesia from sending troops to Vietnam, which others in the military were pressing him to do so. Even East Timor he was a fence sitter until the end. Indonesia’s foreign policy during that time was reactive,

    • William C

      First PKI did raid Malaysia. The raids did start when Malaysia was formed, and it was the reason why the raids started. Maphilindo was a smoke screen, Indonesia want to prevent the British from establishing a puppet state on its border. The Filipinos had claims to Sabah.

  • TalkingEid

    How many were put on trial for murder? That’s the point – murderers, whatever their motivation, should be tried in courts.

    • DanielKaimana

      Sure, there should be in trial. Let me ask you. How many FPI and members put on trial for murder?

      We are talking about politics, and that’s beyond your naive believe on seeking justice through courts. Wake up dear boy… PKI and Communist Chinese group at that time were not all fancy pancy stories or sort of nice fairy stories you like to hear over and over before you sleep.. We just hesitate to spell it out sometimes.. But it doesn’t mean it does not exist.. Just like you.. look at yourself at mirror..

      • TalkingEid

        Well it seems you stopped hestiating – your racist rant above makes it abundantly clear which ethnic group YOU blame for the evils in our midst.
        I really don’t understand your first point – are you trying to say that because some groups escape justice (the FPI are not predominantly Chinese, by the way) that all should?
        Your second point is pretty obscure too- should politically motivated murder be treated differently to any other kind? Or are you simply saying “it was sanctioned by our lords and masters so we should simply forget about it?” Please elucidate.

        • DanielKaimana

          The whole point my dear boy, Chinese either as a group and PKI are not merely innocent victims.. This is not merely a vertical conflict, merely between state and the people. It went beyond it and not even can be seen as purely horizontal either. A lot layers in between and when ordinary people involved, there was something behind it..

          Only if we accept this fact, reconciliation can be thought of.. Or otherwise, you’re just inciting new racial hatred.. That’s what Oppenheimer’s doesn’t get.. He used the same frame when US soldiers on the name of the state killed innocent civilian women and children all around the world. He thinks this is the same case. He used the same frame but deceitfully using ordinary people as actors in the film to show the partial case. Watch John Pilger’s film, that’s bit more fair in many aspects. Justice is concerning two or more conflicting sides my dear boy.. Cannot be partial.

  • prodopo

    Hi, I’m sorry but as an ignorant foreigner I don’t know about these movies:Tumbuh dalam Badai. I will certainly watch them as much as time permits and ask my Indonesian wife to help with translating. Have any of these been dubbed into English? I google translated write ups of them and I’m sure they must be important viewing. I agree with you that movies like this don’t directly make government policy change. The people responsible have already shown themselves to be completely callous. However, I still feel that movies about countries like Indonesia have an important role in raising the consciousness of peoples in “developed” countries. We need to know about this as our governments had an important role in the development of Indonesia and other countries like it. Maybe movies like “the Act” could prod Western orgs like the IMF to actually start working for the development of countries like Indonesia, rather than just acting as exploitation facilitators. Look back to 1998 and the liquidity credits. This was all about ensuring that commodities would flow out of Indonesia without interruption and no thought was given to the long term effect on ordinary folk. I’m glad Mr. Oppenheimer is going to make a movie about the victims of 1965. Everyone needs to know what happened, and they also need to know about what it’s like for people living in the corruption riddled Indonesia that developed as a result of the backroom deals agreed between American business and Suharto’s people. Keep the documentaries coming, and I’m going to ask my wife to look at dubbing one of those movies into English. Could always post it on you tube.

  • prodopo

    Reading this:

    Now, more than four decades on, one of Sarwo Edhie’s daughters, Mrs
    Kristiani Herawati, is the wife of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono,
    another is married to Army Strategic Reserve (Kostrad) commander Erwin
    Sudjono, and his eldest son, Brigadier-General Pramono Edhie Wibowo, has
    been appointed as Chief of Staff of the Army – by his brother-in-law,
    President Yudhoyono. Before that general Pramono was Commander of the
    Siliwangi division of the Army, Chief of Staff of the Diponegoro
    division and Commander of the Special Forces (Kopassus).

    It’s difficult to imagine that there will be any national reconciliation any time soon. I can’t begin to imagine how the descendants of the 1965 incident must feel about this.

  • estehmaniz

    There are posts questioning how much CIA was involved in the coup. Though this is auxiliary to the content and message of this movie, for history’s sake and in putting a bigger context, I think the key to the question lies in the US ambassador at the time, Marshall Green.
    He’s the most experienced and informed American on Asia, with a career spans from before WW2 in Tokyo, he directed all american policies to Asia in the 50s-70s.
    He arrived in Jakarta in Jun 65. Discourteously welcomed by Sukarno with speeches of Jakarta-Pyongyang-Beijing axis, organized protests to to his visit, and how he abhor the American foreign policy, Green returned the insults with saying to Sukarno’s wive that he didn’t understand the president’s ramblings, obviously they don’t like each other. That was 4 months before the 30-sep coup.
    He provided INdonesia’s military with the list of PKI members to kill, something he later admitted in the 90s.

    What interesting about this guy is he’s known as very witty and cunning as a fox, a few months before Japan attack Pearl Harbor he left Tokyo, he was the American ear and eyes during a military coup in South Korea in 61, and similarly in Indonesia in 65, he’s a senior advisor to Kissinger during Paris peace talk (where finally Kissinger won the Noble prize) and when Nixon visited China in 72.
    In the 75s, he was the US ambassador to Australia when Australia’s Whitlam govt dismissed in Nov 75, many people believe there’s some involvement of CIA at the time, the treaty of US communications base at Pine gap was to be renewed in Dec 75. Kissinger was once outraged by Whitlam letter to Nixon blasting the US for its role in Vietnam.
    As aside note, Indonesia invaded East Timor in 7 Dec 75, the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and one day after Kissinger and Ford left Jakarta after visiting Suharto.

  • Paula

    “ASSume”? swearing again boy?

  • Paul

    Now you are acting childish, son. You should apologize for your misplaced allegation.

    • TalkingEid

      ha ha ha

  • Paul

    So, don’t act like a baby boy, son.

  • TalkingEid

    ha ha ha

    • Paul

      I am sorry roofies, for talkingeid’s rude insult. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this serious thread.

      • TalkingEid

        ha ha ha

  • TalkingEid

    Still lying; maybe it’s a compulsion.

  • Paula

    This is perfect example of someone who don’t bother clicking on the links and reading them before forming own opinion. The death counts by communism list was compiled by Stephane Courtois & team.

    • TalkingEid

      I’ve read them – and I think imnotgay2008 is spot on – a list of numbers of people killed by communists in various countries. Is that supposed to be a justification of killing people in Indonesia? If not, what is the point exactly?

  • Valkyrie1604

    Aha! I see you’re becoming quite popular now.

    • Paul

      Sadly, popular in a very negative way.

      • Valkyrie1604

        C’mon ‘Paul’ let’s cool it down.

    • TalkingEid

      I know. I guess I should feel flattered.

  • Paul

    Look who’s talking

  • Paul

    I think, that’s why you chose it. How sneaky. Just calm down, son.

  • Paul

    I mean it serious. You should not do that. You should answer correctly to the topic instead. Don’t ignore and deflect anymore. I don’t understand why you didn’t reply to my post with my youtube links further down? That’s about the topic.

  • Paul

    That’s not funny at all. I mean it serious.

  • Paul

    Frankly, I think your personal life seems to be very sad.

  • TalkingEid

    ha ha ha – you accuse me of rude behaviour after calling me a Nazi?
    Ha ha ha.

    • Paul

      You are ignoring the reasons why you get those kinds of reactions. You don’t care about it. You just continue with your rude behaviour without reflecting it, instead you worsens the situation, playing offended and innocent. I don’t have time for this anymore.

      So, this is an example how plurality of opinions will be oppressed by bullying, insulting, deflecting, and ignoring.

  • TalkingEid

    Indeed. “Paula” only appears here in order to denigrate me and my posts – and then says I flatter myself by thinking all postings are aimed at me. Strange person.

    • Paul

      YOU are the strange person here.

  • Paul

    Deflecting again. How childish.

  • TalkingEid

    Ignorance is certainly not a new trait in you, Daniel – I’m happy you have acknowledged it at last.

  • TalkingEid

    You are long on opinions, but short on facts. Just because you believe something, doesn’t make it a fact. That’s why you make me laugh so much.
    Thanks for my daily chuckle.
    H ha ha.

  • TalkingEid

    Ha ha ha.

  • Wong Edan

    Are you saying that *all* ethnic Chinese and PKI members at the time were a threat to the lives of their neighbours and to the very existence of the nation? Every single one? Or did only some of them deserve to be murdered without being put on trial first?Please tell us who you think got what they deserved.

    • TalkingEid

      Daniel frequently makes racist statements, Wong Edan. Soon he will be along though to tell you how some of his best friends are Chinese.

    • DanielKaimana

      WongEdan, “all” “majority” “minority” certain percentage or anything measurements you are trying to draw is one part. I did not imply anything about it. But as you asked me, bloody hell of course not. God knows it.

      What I’m trying to say is covering both sides might be fair. If you read a lot documents about PKI and one of its wing was BAPERKI and it was one of Chinese organisation which was very closed to PKI. Yap Thiem Hien, a Chinese Protestant, once fought against the move of BAPERKI being closed to PKI but he was a lonely and unheard man in the mid of loud PKI.. To give you a context, after China, if PKI succeeded to take power, Indonesia definitely would be the second Communist country in Asia. The second biggest after China. History showed different way, however.

      PKI and all its arms organisation including the Chinese organisation BAPERKI with their communism ideology was not all nice and charming stories. Believe me.

      I assume the PKI and its arm groups was pretty much like PKS now combined with all hardliners such as FPI, HTI, etc. They are not all nice, aren’t they?

      @talkingeid:disqus Talkingeid, I know what you mean dear boy. Don’t worry, call me raycist.. just because I’m trying to be fair and honest..

      • Wong Edan

        “f PKI succeeded to take power, Indonesia definitely would be the second Communist country in Asia.”. Hmm, so let’s look at what Indonesia was like under the New Order: Only one party was allowed to win elections, the media was state-censored, there was a compulsory state philosophy, criticism of the government was banned, the army was a major political force, history was rewritten from the point of view of the government, and the leader was deified. How was that different from a communist country?

  • DanielKaimana

    You sound a like true commie to me now.. Take it as a compliment dear boy. It’s in your blood anyway to be commie lol

    • TalkingEid

      What blood contains communist genes? I do take it as a compliment though. I would rather be labelled a communist than a racist.

      • DanielKaimana

        unfortunately, you’re both.. all the time you’re racist abt this country and not aware of it..

  • DanielKaimana

    Yes, he did not know that Communists like gay like him..

    • TalkingEid

      Ah, homophobia added to racism.

      • DanielKaimana

        hahaha

  • DanielKaimana

    Don’t worry Paul.. @talkingeid:disqus, @valkyrie1604:disqus and another pervert one whose many ids @Dr Dre, DD, etc are all the same breed. If you name their group and they will be easily deflect it by calling you a “RAYCIST”

    • TalkingEid

      The word is ‘racist’ – your spelling as as bad as your ethics.
      Yes we are all the same breed – human. I have my doubts about your though, bandying about terms like ‘pervert’. I guess you know a lot more about perversions than I do though.

  • DanielKaimana

    Look let’s be clear. I condemn the 65/66. Let alone one human being killed by any means, even by law, I don’t agree. I don’t agree with death sentence.

    Having said that, echoing Paula, we avoid very hard to spell it out how particularly group in this society, Chinese, is another side coin with corrupt bloody government officials. Do you think they are not sucking the blood of innocent women and children through their black dirty and unbelievable unethical business practices in this country? Clearly, they don’t kill them as using guns or other killing machines. But don’t you think it’s just another way of sucking other people lives? Do you know how Chinese group gangs up to turn down/making bankrupt pribumi’s business? And join the bandwagon with corrupt officials to make money? Talking about business ethics among Chinese? What is that? You’re joking. But they are my country men/women. And it’s not fair to paint the same brush to all. And I will never agree to oppose the Chinese ethnic group in this country either. Nope and never. But we ask only a tiny thing, be fair.

    Because at the end of the day, we are the same children of this country. Born and perhaps buried or cremated on the same land. We need more Soe Hok Gie, we need more Arif Budiman, We need more Ahok.. Not the ones who are sucking blood of our innocent women and children and still not feeling guilty and act business as usual.

    • TalkingEid

      Wow – you sound just like Prabowo “Chinese, is another side coin with corrupt bloody government officials.
      Do you think they are not sucking the blood of innocent women and
      children through their black dirty and unbelievable unethical business
      practices in this country”
      Well now we can all see your racist rant – thanks for at last showing us all your true colors.

  • TalkingEid

    Liar.

  • Paul

    You wish, but you didn’t. Instead you bullied and insulted with your lowbrow comments. You are such an oxymoron.

    If you wish to express your thoughts like the well respected post from PakMamat… DO IT.

    Btw. Until now Gus Dur is the only one who apologized in the name of NU.

  • Maze

    Said someone who hates Javanese so much. Another blatant prove of your hypocrisy.

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/features/six-of-the-best-coffee-places-in-jakarta/

    • TalkingEid

      “javanese middle class’ is not a race. If you think it is, it says more about you than about me. Enjoy your cappuccino while the poor starve.

      • http://somewhere.com/ FMN

        @talkingeid:disqus hates Javanese so much? Now it all makes sense.

        • Maze

          Damn right. With all his boasted morality, at the end of the day, he’s
          just another racist and Javanese hater. He just won’t admit it though.

          • TalkingEid

            Liar.

          • Maze

            Hypocrite.

          • TalkingEid

            “Damn”? That sounds like swearing to me. It’s a strange thing that those puritans didn’t criticize you for it.
            Ha ha ha.

          • Maze

            Look who’s talking. LOL

  • Blade

    actually libor did no harm it was manipulation of % but no physical harm was done..

  • TalkingEid

    I’m not interested in trying to educate ineducable racists.

    • Paul

      You should educate yourself first, son.

      • TalkingEid

        I don’t think I’m your son – but perhaps you lost track of all your children?
        Ha ha ha

  • TalkingEid

    Pretty sad, when the only agreement they can get is from ‘guests’.

  • TalkingEid

    It would be funnier if it wasn’t so sad.

  • http://somewhere.com/ FMN

    Have you tried the so-called “up-votes” yourself?

  • Paula

    ‘popular’ for the wrong reasons is something to be proud of?

  • Maze

    Same question remains : Why only Javanese? Are you as ignorant as Tolol Eid who thinks
    that Javanese is the only group that enjoys coffee in Jakarta?

  • TalkingEid

    Well you sent me a link to a story from about 8 months ago – so if I misunderstood please quote my anti-Javanese comment. My comment was about the Javanese middle classes. Perhaps I touched a nerve?
    Latte to go……..

    • Paul

      Ah.. Now you said “Javanese middle classes” (why classes? btw.). So you really meant Javanese, not “Java middle class”. In this case it is about an ethnical group in melting pot Jakarta. If I would use your way of interpretation and would replace “Javanese” middle class with “Jewish” middle class, it would sound in fact quite fascistic, son.

  • TalkingEid

    I think I maybe touched a nerve, HB.

  • TalkingEid

    I post serious responses to serious posters. Comedians evince only mirth.
    Ha ha ha.

  • http://somewhere.com/ FMN

    Thank you @disqus_GaR9PD8BpW:disqus, you understood 1 of the points and had the courtesy to explain them to others. Interesting point indeed, Communism killed 65 million Chinese (world’s highest), why the silence from Chinese-descendant posters here?

  • Paul

    What a clown you are. Deflecting by playing dumb.
    I’m happy the fast growing INDONESIAN middle class can enjoy a well and freshly made cappuccino. Most of them are social climbers, they deserve it.

  • Paul

    Many readers don’t like your behavior. You are just bullying around on a lowbrow level. Just higher your level. You said, you wish you could express your opinion like pakmamat did. Just do it, son. Everybody here will be happy.

    • TalkingEid

      ha ha ha
      You think you’re my dad!
      Keep wishing!
      Ha ha ha

  • Paul

    Just post something with more content, facts and value. Without cheesy moons.

    • TalkingEid

      Cheesy moons are your speciality. I have no idea what you mean.
      Ha ha ha.

  • TalkingEid

    Another lie.

  • TalkingEid

    Its great to be so intensively ignored.
    Ha ha ha.

  • TalkingEid

    yes, your ignorance is my bliss.
    Ha ha ha.

  • TalkingEid

    Absolutely Val – some people seem to equate ‘popular’ with ‘right’. Personally I’m only interested in the latter.

  • TalkingEid

    Attacked by someone whose comments contain only vitriol – makes me proud.
    Thanks ‘dad’.
    Ha ha ha.

  • TalkingEid

    Always good to quote half a sentence!
    Ha ha ha.

  • Paul

    The way how you used it, made it a lowbrow comment.

  • Paul

    That’s good, son.

  • Maze

    Liar. Stop playing dumb

  • TalkingEid

    As you can see Val, when the truth doesn’t fit someone’s perception, they just invent stuff to support their prejudices.

    • Valkyrie1604

      TE…I having that quite regularly on the other site. Hahaha!
      C’mon, let’s have some decent fun!

  • Valkyrie1604

    Maze……Oops! I’m assuming your response was deleted. I wonder why.

  • Valkyrie1604

    Maze….am I seeing class distinctions here? All I said was TE DID NOT state “Javanese”. You are the one who jumped the gun and btw, calling people names like “Tolol” shows how weak you are in an exchange. I wouldn’t stoop that low!

    Furthermore, what’s wrong with consumerism? No answer to that?

    • Maze

      Let me make it clear again for you, in case you still don’t get it.
      Why only “Javanese middle class”? Do you really think Javanese middle class is the one and only middle class here? We have a lot of middle classes, Bataknese, Sundanese, Chinese, Padangnese etc. So why pointing fingers to Javanese middle class only? We all know the answer.

      As for consumerism, I’m just pointing out his blatant hatred towards Javanese. In fact, to some extent, consumerism can help boost the economy. So, why don’t you ask your dear friend , what is so wrong with consumerism?

      As for Tol**, well, maybe he deserve it , as he said before: ” he doesn’t have wide enough experience of other socio-economic groups”, which is one of the worst deflection i have ever seen in this forum.

      • TalkingEid

        Let me make it clear – I speak of my experience, that’s all. I don’t particularly recall meeting the groups of which you speak – for all I know they are as materialistic as you. I have no idea. That’s not deflection, it’s truth, a concept you seem to have little interest in, preferring to form judgment from what you believe about me, rather than from what I have written.

      • Valkyrie1604

        I’m a very patient person, so I’ll repeat what I posted for your benefit.

        “Consumerism….the true religion of the Java middle class”
        Where did you see the word Javanese in it???? Strangely, you’re guilty of generalizing it.

        Hey, I am aware of the various “middle class” (of the populace) living in Java.

        Btw…..he’s not my “dear friend”. We have been at odds in the past, if you wish to know. And yes, write on what was written and NOT on what you believe about a person.

        Let’s have a healthy exchange.

  • TalkingEid

    I prefer to emulate you dad, with your very serious, on-topic comments.
    Ha ha ha.

  • Maze

    See my replies above. Stop playing dumb.

  • Maze

    See my replies above.

    • TalkingEid

      You’re boring as well as ignorant. Goodbye.

  • TalkingEid

    Seems I am both a commie and fascistic!

  • Maze

    I couldn’t agree more.

  • TalkingEid

    You’re very boring as well as ignorant. Goodbye.

  • Valkyrie1604

    Maze….that’s kid talk! Grow up!

    • Maze

      Val, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Let me remind you that you’re the one who asked me about consumerism. And we all know TE was the one who tried to make consumerism sounds so bad in the first place. So, in order to clarify things , Why don’t you ask him what is so wrong about consumerism ?

      And for once… stop playing dumb.

  • Maze

    My question to your answer : “In fact, to some extent, consumerism can help boost the economy”. It means that there is nothing wrong with consumerism. Can’t you read between the lines? or are you as ignorant as them?

  • Maze