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Anti-communist propaganda film 'made with the aim of making people hate the PKI'

Kompas.com - September 23, 2017

Estu Suryowati, Jakarta – The film Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI has again become the subject of public discussion after TNI (Indonesian military) chief General Gatot Nurmantyo proposed the idea of holding joint screenings (nobar) of the film which tells the story of the 1965 affair.

The public has been divided in response to this with some supporting it, and others opposing it.

Jajang C. Noer, the wife of the late Arifin C. Noer who directed the film The Treachery of the 30 September Movement/Indonesian Communist Party, admits that the film was indeed made with the aim of making people hate the PKI.

"Certainly that was the film's aim, I must emphasise once again that we [should] hate the PKI. So that we understand that the PKI was wrong. Yes if you want they can be called evil", said Jajang when speaking on the talk show Perspective Indonesia in Jakarta on Saturday September 23.

Jajang does not deny that there are some that consider her husband's film a form of propaganda by the government that was in power at the time, namely Suharto's New Order government.

"That it is called Suharto propaganda, yes well, what can you do. Suharto was indeed [involved] in the [1965] affair. He was the head of an administration which sponsored it all", added Jajang.

Jajang added that Arifin never thought that the film would be screened in the lead up to September 30 each year, let alone that school children would be obliged to watch it. As far as Arifin knew, the docudrama film was only to be used as a kind of national archive.

"It isn't nice hearing the word propaganda. What Mas [brother] Arifin did not suspect was that the fill would be screened every September 30", said Jajang.

With regard to the making of the film, Jajang related how the production team carried out research based on the data available at the time. The total time for research and production of the film was around two years.

Of course, she said, it was very easy to dig up information or access information from the TNI (then called ABRI) rather than information from the PKI, relatives or its sympathisers.

There were many scenes in the film that Arifin chose not to depict in a vulgar way. Arifin received the initial data and scenario from a team led by Nugroho Notosusanto which was then reworked by Arifin.

"I need to emphasise this because there was data that said the generals [abducted by the G30S] were tortured, they were abused by among other things by having their eyes were gouged out, their penises cut off", said Jajang.

"Mas Arifin, yeah because the data was like that, he made it as if the generals were tortured. Because of this blood was shown. But, even though there was no [torture] scene it wasn't because he didn't believe it [had happened]. How can you not believe that there were sadistic people like that", said Jajang.


1. Nugroho Notosusanto was the head of the history department at the University of Indonesia and became the de facto official historian of the military. Staunchly pro-military and close to Suharto, he was the quintessential state-sanctioned academic and the leading spokesperson of the so-called Generation of 1945, which lays claim to being the true harbingers of independence through the armed struggle of 1945-49 which gave birth to TNI.

2. The alleged sexual mutilation of the six generals who were kidnapped and later killed was instrumental in whipping up the anti-communist hysteria in the days following September 30, 1965. The autopsy reports, which were kept secret, were accidentally discovered by Professor Benedict Anderson in the early 1980s among the trial records of those convicted of the alleged coup. Signed by Suharto himself, they show conclusively that no mutilations had occurred and that the stories were fabrications.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Jajang C Noer: Memang Target Film G30S/PKI agar Orang Membenci PKI.]

Source: http://nasional.kompas.com/read/2017/09/23/13241541/jajang-c-noer-memang-target-film-g30spki-agar-orang-membenci-pki.

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