Indonesia’s movie crisis
At one of Jakarta’s biggest movie theaters, Richard Olsen, an Indonesia-based filmmaker, runs down what’s playing on the big screens.
“A Thai horror movie, a Danish film. Normally you don’t see things like this,” Olsen said. “You’d see Kung Fu Panda way before you’d see this.”
But for the past four months, Indonesia hasn’t been getting any new movies from Hollywood. Olsen said he used to go to the movies two times a week, but the last movie he saw in the theaters was The King’s Speech, in February.
Olsen said that his friends in Australia tease him, telling him about the great movies they’ve just seen.
“I have no chance to watch it unless I go overseas,” Olsen said. “It’s ridiculous.”
The great Indonesian movie crisis, as some bloggers call it, comes down to an unresolved tax dispute. In February, the Indonesian government announced a new system for calculating tax on imported films. The Motion Picture Association of America or MPAA said with the new system, it’s no longer worth it to send films to Indonesia.