FILM

NEWS: ‘Moral Panic’ Over Gender Identity Film Sparks Backlash in Indonesia

23 May 2019

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NEWS: ‘Moral Panic’ Over Gender Identity Film Sparks Backlash in Indonesia

Director gets death threats as 93,000 sign petition to have ‘LGBT film’ Memories of My Body banned lest young ‘imitate behaviour’

The release of an award-winning Indonesian film about a male dancer exploring his sexuality has led to a backlash from religious groups in the south-east Asian country.

The release of Garin Nugroho’s Memories of My Body comes at a time of increased antagonism towards the country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The film was released last month in about 40 cinemas around the country. Nugroho has since received death threats, and a growing number of cities have banned the poetic drama, which is now only being shown in three cinemas.

A petition urging authorities to ban the film, which is based on the life of choreographer and dancer Rianto, has garnered more than 93,000 signatures and is growing by the day. It expresses concern that “the LGBT film” will make the younger generation “imitate the behaviour seen” in it.

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Photo credit: The Guardian

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