Indonesia movie-goers hope for end to film drought
Indonesian cinema-goers thirsty for first-run foreign films hope the government has moved a step closer to settling a tax battle with importers that has kept most Hollywood blockbusters out of the country for the past few months.
Earlier this year, the government said it would push film importers to pay higher customs duties on imported films and force them to shell out more than a decade’s worth of unpaid royalties — over $30 million.
Indonesia’s predominant Hollywood film importer promptly retaliated by restricting the number of films it would bring in, limiting access to all but a handful of foreign movies.
As a result, Indonesian cinema-goers have been condemned to a strange combination of second-tier Hollywood movies that have been dug up from the vaults, or avoided the ban, plus low budget Chinese martial arts flicks and domestic horror films that combine ghosts with erotic scenes — to viewer dissatisfaction.
“Some movies deserve to be enjoyed at the cinema…so I hope the government and film importers can sort this out soon,” said Johannes Prayudhi, a 31-year-old accountant.