Balibo film to get Indonesian premiere
By Adam Gartrell, AAP November 30, 2009, 10:03 pm

The politically sensitive Australian movie about the Balibo Five will premiere in Indonesia on Tuesday, without the approval of the country's censors.

Robert Connolly's Balibo, which depicts Indonesian soldiers brutally murdering the five Australia-based newsmen in the East Timorese town in 1975, will be screened at a plush cinema in downtown Jakarta on Tuesday night.

Organised by the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club, the screening will take place even though Indonesia's censorship board, the LSF, has yet to decide whether to approve or ban the movie.

The Indonesian government has labelled the movie "offensive" and the military has called on the LSF to ban it. It contradicts the official Indonesian explanation the newsmen were accidentally killed in crossfire.

The film is also due to be shown in the coming weeks as part of the Jakarta International Film Festival, but those screenings could hinge on LSF approval. The LSF has formed a special team to assess whether the thriller is too politically sensitive for Indonesian audiences.

It has previously banned films about East Timor due to similar concerns.
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 killings.

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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