TV film of 1965 coup taken off air.
The Indonesian government has stopped requiring television stations to annually air a government-produced film on an abortive 1965 coup, but will still require stations to air other films with "similar nuances," the Jakarta Post reported Thursday.
"On Sept. 30, TVRI (the state-run television station) and private TV stations will no longer broadcast 'The Rebellion of the Sept. 30 Movement/PKI,"' the newspaper quoted Information Minister Muhammad Yunus Yosfiah as saying.
The 1982 film has long been subject to controversy. The coup, blamed on the since-banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), paved the way for then army commander Gen. Suharto's rise to power.
The film had been broadcast every Sept. 30 by all television stations since 1984. Students had also been obliged to watch the film during school-organized cinema excursions.
While the film has been praised for its cinematic aspects, many people have criticized it for exaggerating the heroism of former President Suharto, who led the quelling of the rebellion.
"Films glorifying an individual no longer suit the dynamics of reform," Yunus said.
Legislators have also urged the government to stop obligatory screenings of other films glorifying individuals that are screened around Independence Day on Aug. 17, including "Yellow Coconut Palm Leaves" and "Dawn Strike."
Both films portray Suharto as a hero in the struggle against the Dutch colonialists in the 1940s.
Yunus said the government will replace the 1982 film with "Not Merely a Memory," a new film jointly produced by the Information Ministry and the Ministry of Education and Culture.
All television stations must broadcast the film in three episodes, starting from Sept. 30.
The director general for radio, television and film, Ishadi, said the film is fictional but still relates to the Sept. 30 coup.
"It's a story about a student fighting for reform who was later branded a communist because his grandfather was one," Ishadi said, adding, "There are elements of justice in the film."