Two weeks after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in August 1945, Indonesian Independence leaders proclaimed “Indonesia Merdeka!” ‘Freedom for Indonesia’ and an end to Dutch colonial rule over the Netherlands East Indies. Internationally renowned Dutch filmmaker Joris Ivens, in Australia as Film Commissioner for the Netherlands East Indies government in exile, resigned his position in protest against Dutch policy, which sought to re-impose its colonial rule. In collaboration with Indonesian activists, Chinese, Indian and Australian trade unionists, and local artists and filmmakers, Ivens made Indonesia Calling, a film documenting the crucial role of Australian trade union support in the establishment of the new Republic of Indonesia. Ivens’ film was an activist documentary; it actively contributed to the events it depicted. All those who worked on it became ‘adversely known’ to the security services.
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