February 20th, 2013

The Southeast Asia 2013 Film Series presents: The Indonesian film “Passabe”

Chris Lundry
Asst. Research Professor (FSC)
Hugh Downs School Of Comm
Neeb Hall 105

In the lead up to and following the August 30, 1999, referendum that led to the independence of Timor Leste (East Timor), militias funded, armed and trained by the Indonesian military, police and government, carried out a scorched earth campaign to coerce and punish the territory. Widespread violence including murder and rape, arson and theft plagued the territory until an Australia-led force intervened to stop the violence. In the wake of such catastrophe — and in the context of a transition to independence overseen by the United Nations — East Timorese were confronted with the problem of dealing with militia members, some of whom were coerced, others of whom joined freely or led the groups. Many of the militia members — and tens of thousands of refugees — who streamed across the Indonesian border began to return as the situation normalized, and the East Timorese began to reintegrate them through indigenous justice practices. Initially the United Nations rejected these practices in favor of a western-style justice system, but eventually accepted them and began to monitor the proceedings. “Passabe” covers the practices and problems associated with return, reconciliation, and reintegration by following the story of a man accused of militia violence.

This film remains banned in Indonesia.
This film is free and open to the public.
This event is sponsored by the Southeast Asia Council as part of the Southeast Asia 2013 film series.