Subject: Special Indonesian censorship team for Balibo film,27574,26356829-23109,00.html 

Special censorship team for Balibo film

By Adam Gartrell in Jakarta


November 16, 2009 04:17pm

INDONESIAN'S censors have formed a special team to decide whether to allow the politically sensitive Australian movie about the Balibo Five to be shown in the country.

The Indonesian government has declared Robert Connolly's Balibo "offensive" and the Indonesian military has urged the country's censorship board, the LSF, to ban it.

The movie depicts Indonesian soldiers brutally murdering five Australia-based newsmen in the <> East Timor border town in 1975. It contradicts the official Indonesian explanation they were killed in crossfire.

The organisers of the <> Jakarta International Film Festival (JIFF), which kicks off next month, want to show the movie despite the possible controversy it could generate. They have submitted the movie to the LSF, which has formed a special team to decide whether the thriller is too politically sensitive for Indonesian audiences.

The LSF prevented the JIFF screening several films about East Timor in 2006 because of similar concerns. But organisers are optimistic Balibo will be approved.

The film's release in Australia earlier this year came just weeks before federal police announced they would conduct a formal war crimes investigation into the Balibo killings, a move that sparked some diplomatic tensions.

The probe follows a 2007 coronial inquest that concluded Indonesian deliberately killed the journalists to cover up their invasion of East Timor.

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