Questioning Millennials 1965 Communist Purge Film
Responding to pro and cons over controversial The Treachery of G30S/PKI film, President Jokowi has called for a new film to teach millennials about the 1965 communist purge.
More than 50 years after the failed coup attempt that led to a bloody purge against among others, alledged communist symphatizers, Indonesia has yet to come to terms with its dark past, with its people sharply devided over what actually happened at the time.
Penghianatan G30S/PKI which was directed by Arifin C Noer, tells the story of Gen. Soeharto in quashing a coup acted by the PKI. In the big-budget film, communists are depicted as savages who mutilated military officers in a frenzy. After Soeharto’s regime fallen down at 1998, observer and historians have said the movie depicts Indonesia’s founding father and first President Soekarno as a traitor, and Soeharto as a hero.
Recently, the film has regained its popularity after Indonesian Military Commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo instructed his personnel to hold screenings of it to teach the younger generation about the history.
Meanwhile, some millennials supporting Jokowi’s call for a new film about the large-scale killings, said that watching the New Order’s version of the event was not an option.
Some millenials have opinion that the new film should depict the entire history surrounding the event, and include the alternative narratives that were written by historians and not taught in schools. The movie should not merely depict the perceived dangers of communism brought by the PKI.
Other millennials have said a new movie about the 1965 communist purge should include new findings and facts surrounding the tragedy. Besides that, the government should provide a way for the public to watch and discuss independent movies produced by youngsters that incorporate other perspectives on the bloody event.
Factually, some interest groups inclunding Jokowi’s opposants had alleged that President Jokowi has been supporting Indonesia Communist Party (ICP) or known as PKI. The allegation to President Jokowi has been showing from many of opinions that President had been manipulated the history related to G30S/PKI or the treachery of communist group in Indonesia.
Actually, Jokowi’s call for a new film about 1965 tragedy has purposed to give other perspective and contemporary connections related to communist threat, but these idea has been using the interest groups to discredit Jokowi’s image.
The impacts on the allegation over President Jokowi has been supported communist group in Indonesia if its doesn’t counter by the government offcies, such as public opinion building in the society that its true if President Jokowi had supported communist; the government will be taken a negative public opinion in their society and lastly it will be politicized to downgrade Jokowi’s image and power.
Because of that, the government officials offices specially Information and Communication Ministry and its counterpart at other ministry will be countered the wrong image over Jokowi’s idea on millenials 1965 communist purge film and reiterated that President Jokowi didn’t support a communist ideology will survive or regain in Indonesia. Hopefully.
*) Hendrijanto Ikhbal, Senior observers at LSISI Jakarta.