Indonesian filmmakers have condemned a decision by Indonesia's censors to ban the Australian film Balibo , starring Anthony LaPaglia, about the killing of five journalists, two from Australia, two from Britain, and one from New Zealand, by Indonesian troops during the Indonesian takeover of East Timor in 1975. The Jakarta Globe quoted director Riri Riza as saying that even though the action was predictable, it shows that censorship is still rife in the nation. Abduh Azis, chairman of the Indonesian Film Society, told the newspaper that the ban demonstrated that the country faces a crisis in freedom of expression. However Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa maintained that the censorship was necessary to protect the "the global perception of Indonesia." In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Balibo 's director, Robert Connolly, commented that he had high hopes that the film would had an "impact" on the country. Meanwhile, Reuters reported that bootleg copies of the movie are already being distributed in Jakarta.

02/12/2009