Indonesian Court Bans Balibo Movie

An Indonesian court has upheld a ban of the Australian movie Balibo, which tells the story of journalist Greg Shackleton and four other men, who were killed in the days leading up to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor (during which more than 100,000 Timorese died).

The movie is based on a book by journalist Jill Jolliffe, which has apparently been criticized by some relatives of the Balibo Five, since she apparently voices dissatisfaction over activists’ efforts (or lack thereof) to find justice for Shackleton and others.

Regardless, the Jakarta court’s decision is pretty sad, since it shows the government’s unwillingness to wrestle honestly with its escapades in East Timor.

A censorship board official, RM Tedjo Baskoro, told the Globe that the film “did not cover both sides by failing to include information from the Indonesian side.”

If the film were screened, he said, it would reopen “old wounds” between Indonesia, Australia and East Timor.


Here’s the trailer for the film.

Today I’m listening to: Loden!

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