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SHADOW PLAY: INDONESIA’S YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY

Australia, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Australian Showcase)

Director: Chris Hilton

In this groundbreaking documentary on the mid-late 60s campaign that allowed General Suharto's New Order to seize control from President Sukarno, witnesses dare to speak for the first time: those who in one way or another became victims of paranoia and power.

Building on accounts of mass graves, forced exiles and political imprisonment, Shadow Play offers evidence that the so-called coup against the communists were supported with arms, advice and intelligence from Australia, the United States and Great Britain. Director Chris Hilton (who produced the riveting documentary Renzo Piano: Piece by Piece in MIFF 1999) interweaves compelling evidence with a visual narrative of wayang (shadow) puppets displaying the conflict between two monkey generals. As in the shadow play, our western vision has impaired us from seeing who was really pulling the strings.

Chris Hilton (born in Australia) grew up in Central Java, Papua New Guinea and Thailand. With a diploma in film production from the University of Technology, Sydney, he has been making documentaries since 1986. Shadow Play is the first film Chris has directed in five years.

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