A very very sad day in Indonesia here where another artwork once again banned just because of its controversial content. After the government banned “Lastri” for depicting a communism-oriented girl’s life in Indonesia around 1950, now the government banned “Balibo”, an international film directed by Robert Connolly.
The reason behind the banning is that “Balibo” describe a story of 5 Australian reporters who got killed during a gun fight in Timor Lester. It was told that those five reporters were shot by Indonesian armies, allegedly (And I assume that was why we are being embargo by the US for this tragic event).
For this reason, Indonesian Censorship Organization has decided that this film is not appropriate to be broadcasted in Indonesia’s cinemas. They are afraid that this will put Indonesia and Australia relationship to sour and it will not be a good education to Indonesians.
What a ridiculous explanation. I thought this case was already dismissed and it was concluded that the incident was an accident during the gun fight. Furthermore, not a good education? I do not deem that a piece of important history how Indonesia lost Timor Leste as a not good education. In fact, it’s a very good lesson for us for the future. We, the people, have the right to know what the government has done during that time and be accountable of what they have done.
This censorship is nothing but a paranoia of a potential uprising and they are trying to impose monarchy leadership just like China censored a large portion of sensitive media that will disadvantage the nation. This is a democracy people and the government act is trying to shut down the very essence of democracy, which is the freedom of speech. I say, let people decide what they want to watch and if you want to make your nation understand the situation, battle back with the same media. Infringing the freedom of speech by banning this film is not the solution.