Officials in Indonesia have banned critically acclaimed new movie BALIBO over the film's politically sensitive subject matter.
The film, which stars Without A Trace actor Anthony LaPaglia, tells the story of five journalists working for Australian TV networks who were slaughtered by Indonesian troops during the 1975 invasion of East Timor.
The killing of the group - known as the Balibo Five - has been a source of tension between Indonesia and Australia ever since, and now the Australian-made movie has been banned from public screenings in the Asian country.
The Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club (JFCC) was due to show the movie on Tuesday night (01Dec09), but it was called off along with a planned screening at the Jakarta International Film Festival (Jiffest).
JFCC president Jason Tedjasukmana says, "I haven't received anything official but after consulting with our legal advisers, we decided it would be too risky because, while this is a private screening, it would be in a public place thus violating the law."
Jiffest manager Nauval Yazid adds, "They told us that we cannot show the movie. The reason was not really clear. It is likely because of concerns that it will affect relations with East Timor and Australia."
At least 100,000 people are said to have died in the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the subsequent 25-year occupation. The country achieved formal independence in 2002.