Shadow play - Indonesia's Years of Living Dangerously

USA/Austr./Indon. 2002, 80 min, engl. OV and german VO at the same DVD, 29.90 €   IAS015en


The history of Indonesia comprises many events of which the full facts have never been made public. One example is the assassination of six generals on 30 September 1965. This shocking incident gave rise to an unprecedented round-up of communists in Indonesia, during which more than half a million – some sources even mention several million – people were killed. At least as many people ended up in jail without any form of justice. Eventually, these actions led to a political revolution in which general Suharto succeeded the popular president Sukarno.

In this documentary, evidence is submitted for the theory that the so-called coup and the hate campaign against the communists were supported with arms, advice and intelligence from the United States, Great Britain and Australia, and that the Dutch government was not ignorant, either. Director Chris Hilton also introduces many people who for the first time dare speak about the occurrences of 1965-66, and who in one way or another became victims of the paranoia and lust for power at the time. In addition, the documentary incorporates parts from the popular ‘Ramayana’ epic, about the conflict between two monkey generals, performed with wayang puppets – the ‘shadow play’ from the title. Because just as in the wayang puppet play, in Indonesia it is often unclear just who is pulling the strings.



Produktion: Solidarität International e.V., Duisburg

Realisation: Chris Hilton


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