“DOWNFALL!” is a feature documentary film (122 minutes) which the award-winning Australian filmmaker - John Pilger - described as “a big, raw, angry, often eloquent work in its imagery.” Pilger concluded: “The rawness is so interesting; you wield it as a weapon of the truth and persuasion, and the images you bring together, almost defiantly, are often painful to watch. Thank you for making the film and for keeping alive the hope of an Indonesia before 1965.”
The director travelled to virtually all the parts of Indonesia, over the last quarter of a century, covering and filming conflict zones, natural disaster areas, as well as the social and intellectual upheaval and final collapse of this the 4th most populous nation on Earth.
Collecting footage began when the greatest Indonesian thinkers, including the most prominent Southeast Asian novelist, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, as well as the former President and progressive Muslim cleric Abdurrahman Wahid, were still alive and happy to talk to the director.
“DOWNFALL!” is about the revolutionary enthusiasm of the Sukarno era, it is about the U.S.-military coup of 1965 which took 2-3 million lives and converted Indonesia into a poor, secretive, oppressive society without a single important thinker or scientist.
To date, corruption reigns, the environment has been thoroughly ruined, and statistics manipulated.
The director interviewed hundreds of people, from Presidents to sex workers, from artists to farmers. His conclusion is: 1965 was an intellectual Hiroshima, imposed from abroad, and replicated in many countries such as Chile, and Yeltsin’s Russia. It was a model, a monstrously destructive model. And nobody noticed. A loyal friend of Washington, London and Canberra, Jakarta is hardly ever criticized by the mass media in North America and Europe. The more cruel it gets, the more it is ruined, the more it gets hailed as a ‘free market’ example, a ‘democracy’ and a ‘tolerant state’.
Now, “DOWNFALL!” is challenging the official narrative. Unsettling, frightening but brutally honest, this film shows to the world what precisely happens to a country that has been fully abandoned to a market and religious fundamentalism, and to the imperialist diktat.
Andre VltchekDirectorThe Faces of North Korea; The Rwanda Gambit
Andre VltchekWriterThe Faces of North Korea; The Rwanda Gambit
Andre VltchekProducerThe Faces of North Korea; The Rwanda Gambit
Noam ChomskyKey Cast
Pramoedya Ananta ToerKey Cast
Abdurrahman WahidKey Cast
Runtime:2 hours 2 minutes
Completion Date:April 11, 2020
Production Budget:100,000 USD
Country of Origin:Czech Republic
Country of Filming:Indonesia, United States
Andre Vltchek is a filmmaker, philosopher, novelist, and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries, and on all continents.
His latest film is called DOWNFALL!”. His previous film is: “The Faces of North Korea”. His other feature documentary films are “Rwanda Gambit!” filmed in Rwanda and DR Congo, and “Western Terrorism”, with the U.S. philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky. He has made 5 films for Telesur: about the ‘kidnapped’ Arab Spring, the Turkish Gezi Park uprising, the extreme capitalist city of Surabaya, about the worst African slums (in Kenya and Uganda), and about the U.S. air force bases in Okinawa, Japan.
He has written 25 books, and they are available in 35 languages. They include: “China, Belt and Road Initiative”, “China, Ecological Civilization”, an 880-page bestseller “Exposing Lies of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western Imperialism”. A discussion with Noam Chomsky: “On Western Terrorism”. The political novel “Point of No Return” is his critically acclaimed work of fiction and so too “Aurora”. Oceania - a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR, Al-Mayadeen and Press TV. After living for many years in Africa, the Middle East, and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Latin America. He can be reached through his website (andrevltchek.weebly.com) or his Twitter (@AndreVltchek).
Around 300 million people live in today’s Indonesia. Much more than half are terribly poor. Statistics say that poverty is in single digits, but both statistics and statisticians are dishonest.
Entire huge islands like Borneo/Kalimantan and Sumatra are ruined. Genocide ranges in West Papua. Rivers are poisoned with mercury and the air in major cities is one of the most polluted on Earth.
Education, health, are on par with the hard-sub-Saharan African bottom.
Profit is all that matters. Communism, socialism, are banned, while religions neo-liberalism are obligatory.
Indonesia is perhaps the saddest place on Earth. It is lacking diversity, with Bali as some sort of exception – a small, fake ‘duty-free island’ converted into a money-making machine. So why is everyone smiling? Don’t they see? They don’t. People were stripped of their ability to analyze and to compare.
I spent 15 years making this film. I made it as a warning to the world. I had to make it. I almost ruined myself, but I made it.
Here it is!