Islamists to hold joint screenings of Suharto era anti-communist film

CNN Indonesia – August 31, 2020
Joint screening of the film Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/PKI – Undated (Antara)

Jakarta – The 212 Alumni Brotherhood (PA 212), which is part of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) National Anti-Communist Alliance (ANAK), plans to hold joint screenings (nobar) of the film Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party (G30S/PKI). The screenings will be organised simultaneously around the country on September 30.

PA 212 Chairperson Slamet Maarif says that the joint screenings of the G30S/PKI film will be held at mosques and prayer rooms in their respective areas. According to Maarif, the planned events are being held to warn of the dangers of communist ideology which still threatens Indonesia.

“The nobar of the film G30S/PKI will be at 8 pm so the children of the nation will not forget our history and the dangers the PKI represents for the Indonesian nation”, said Maarif when contacted by CNN Indonesia on Monday August 31.

Maarif claims that the PA 212 has found indications that the threat of communism still exists in Indonesia, the latest being the government’s plan to separate religion from the state and change the five principles of the state ideology Pancasila into eka sila (one principle).

“Since reformasi [the political reform process that began in 1998] there has been no special research, the betrayal of the PKI is no longer included in the national curriculum, the G30S/PKI film is not broadcast anymore on national television, their cadre [in the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, PDI-P] shamelessly mentioning the PKI like in their book [by a leading PDI-P members whose parents were PKI], they’re even sitting in parliament”, he said.

Maarif said that before watching the film the audience will be asked to read the Quran until magrib (sunset prayers). After that a joint prayer and a national taubat (atonement) will be held.

“After magrib [there will be a] national taubat with the aim of praying for Indonesia so that Allah will save the nation and the state from the threat of communism and take away the Covid-19 disaster from Indonesia”, he said.

In 2017 President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo authorised joint screenings of the G30S/PKI film although this was criticised by a number of parties because the film is part of the propaganda of former president Suharto’s New Order regime.

Widodo even took part in watching the film along with former TNI (Indonesian military) commander-in-chief retired General Gatot Nurmantyo at the 061/Suryakancana Military Resort Command Headquarters (Makorem) in Bogor city, West Java.

Nurmantyo said at the time that restarting screenings of the film was aimed at reminding people about the incident which took place on September 30, 1965, so that it would not be repeated. (dmi/fra)


In September 1998, the government dropped the requirement for all TV stations to broadcast the film Pengkhianatan G30S/PKI (The Betrayal of the September 30 Movement/Indonesian Communist Party), a dramatisation of the New Order’s version of the events surrounding the alleged communist coup in 1965. The film, one of the most effective pieces of propaganda produced by the Suharto dictatorship, had been a compulsory program for all stations every September 30 since its release in 1984.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “September, PA 212 Bakal Nobar G30S/PKI di Masjid dan Musala”.]