Post D: 1965 Massacre (Indonesia)

                                                Executions 1965-66

Indonesia has had some dark cultural events and one of them being the genocide of 1965 which has been portrayed in the film “the act of killing”

“In THE ACT OF KILLING, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes. When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship.”

                                                               The act of killing poster

The history of this cultural event is that a small time gangster Anwar Congo led his friends from selling tickets to movies to leading death squads murdering millions because of new military dictatorship. It began with a failed coup on the 1st of October in 1965 when six senior army generals where assassinate quickly a revolutionary council formed seizing power from President Sukarno.

The new order abandoned Sukarno’s left wing orientation in foreign and domestic politics and looked towards the western approach to economic development but they never concealed the massacares of the anti-communist purge due to the suspected involvement of the PKI (communist party) in the coup.

The military did not just kill communists and the PKI leaders they also killed any sympathisers of the party giving help or shelter to known communists. The American embassy even helped by supplying 5000 names of suspected communists. Along with communists Chinese, designers/artists and Christians where targeted not just from the military but Islam youth.

The methods of killing where often brutal with such methods of as beheading by samuri swords, cutting the neck and shootings. Corpses were thrown in rivers sometimes clogging them in dense areas. Whole villages became deserted and the empty houses given to the military.

Today the men who carried out this act of killing are accepted even celebrated by Indonesians, the film “act of killing” is a whole different type of culture in itself from the west as it actually asks murders/killers to re-enact some of the mass murders they carried out.

  • Draft house films, 2013, The act of killing, 22/4/15,
  • Draft house films, 2014, the act of killing director cut, 22/4/15,
  • Wikipedia, 2015, Indonesian killings of 1965-66, 22/4/15,
  • Prof P Scott, 2014, The act of killing: 1965 massacre, 22/4/15,

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