‘Act of Killing’ Co-Director Says Film Not A
By Jakarta Globe on 9:04 am February 3, 2014.
Jakarta. The co-director of the film, “The Act of Killing” denied
that it was a foreign effort to tarnish Indonesia’s reputation in
international eyes, saying a negative image does not derive from an
effort to dig and reveal incidents in the past but that it depended
on what was being done today.
“For us, an image is not a matter of how well a crime against
humanity was hidden from the people. A negative image is when
unfairness and impunity is being sustained. Negative image is when
there was no apology conveyed to the victims and families of the
victims of the crimes against humanity,” the anonymous co-director
said in a press release sent to the Jakarta Globe.
The co-director said that a negative image is when the government
did not rehabilitate or give compensation to the victims for
everything that has been taken away from them and to continue to
hide important facts from the public.
“A negative image is to make the architect of the mass killing a
hero. A negative image is when there is an absence of efforts to
start a true reconciliation process but instead displayed a fake
reconciliation that basically contained a process to forget and made
it as if it was the only possible way,” the co-director said.
The co-director also said what was being described in the film was
not merely the opinion of the foreign crew in the film production
but also the Indonesian crew in the spirit to uphold humanity and
solidarity to all victims of human rights violations.
The co-director explained that the reason the Indonesian crew wanted
to remain anonymous was because they thought that the state was
still unable to provide sufficient protection for them.
“We cannot register our film as an Indonesian movie because our
anonymity doesn’t allow us to set up a company and there was also no
guarantee that the production house of our film would be safe and
free from any violence,” the release said.
The document added that the film was aimed not only to describe what
really happened during the dark times in Indonesia but Joshua
Oppenheimer, the director who is an American national, also demanded
his government admit its role in the massacre.
It added that Oppenheimer wanted the American moviegoers to
recognize the “The Act of Killing” as a movie that described how US
foreign policy was protecting US-based companies in exploiting other
countries by providing impunity against human rights violations in
the countries where these companies operate.
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 documentary exposing the atrocities of the
1965 Communist Party purge that 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
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
“[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.”
East Timor and Indonesian
Action Network projects the Oscar-nominated
documentary THE ACT OF KILLING on World
Statement by Komnas Ham (National Commission
For Human Rights) on the Results of Its
Investigations into Grave Violation of Human
Rights During the Events of 1965 -1966
Indonesia’s Unresolved Mass Murders
for Suharto’s Crimes Must Not Die With Him,
on Life and Career Suharto,
also Bahasa Indonesia:
Jubilee USA and ETAN Challenge
World Bank to Address Roots of Corruption
by Canceling Indonesia's Suharto-Era Debt