Monday, May 08, 2006

Downer The Film Censor


FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer has admitted he was a behind a decision to withdraw funds from an Indonesia film festival, leaving organisers in the lurch on the eve of its opening night.

Last December, the government pulled funding from the Jakarta International Film Festival because it objected to the screening of some movies.

On the eve of the festival, organisers were told they would not be receiving the $16,000 promised by the Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII).

The AII, a government-funded body set up to promote friendship between the two countries, had sponsored the festival in previous years.

In response to a question on notice asking who made the decision to withdraw funding at the last minute, Mr Downer said: "I did."

Mr Downer demonstrates his new karake technique

The World Socialist Web Site reported last December that:

The Australian films in question are: The President versus David Hicks, which exposes the illegal detention of Australian citizen David Hicks in Guantánamo Bay; Garuda’s Deadly Upgrade, about the murder of Indonesian human rights campaigner Munir Said Thalib; Dhakiyarr versus the King, a documentary on the murder trial and subsequent disappearance of Aboriginal leader Dhakiyarr Wirrpanda over 70 years ago; and We Have Decided Not To Die, an 11-minute short about three individuals who escape death in a number of different and unusual ways. Indonesian censors had cleared all four films for the festival.


It's a bloody good thing that Downer doesn't watch Doctor Who....


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