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Online Screening: Joris Ivens, Indonesia Calling, 1946

10 Jul 2020, Fri - 15 Jul 2020, Wed

Screening is over.

This film shows the role trade union seaman and waterside workers in Sydney played in Indonesia’s independence struggle after World War II. Comprising different nationalities and races, they united together to prevent the departure of Indonesia-bound Dutch ships that carried weapons meant to bring the Indonesian National Revolution to a halt. The film seeks to distil aspects of the historical context of the events depicted in the film and gives insight to the major re-alignments in the relationship between Australia and Indonesia.



Joris Ivens (Netherlands) is a documentary filmmaker whose career spanned over sixty years. He filmed more than 50 international documentaries that explored leftist social and political concerns during the 20th century. Named film commissioner in 1944 for the Dutch East Indies, he later resigned in protest over the Dutch’s resistance to decolonisation. Among the notable films he has directed or co-directed, there are A Tale of the Wind (1988), The Spanish Earth (1937), and Far from Vietnam (1967). In 1988, Ivens received the Golden Lion Honorary Award at the Venice Film Festival and in 1989, he was knighted in the Order of the Dutch Lion.


Video Introduction by Vladimir Seput

The above pre-recorded video introduction was made before the temporary closure of our Centre.


We have expanded the scope of our educational programming to include online film screenings in an effort to make our programmes more accessible and reach our audiences beyond the walls of our Centre, in light of the limitations on onsite screening at the Centre.

Selected films from our film programme Third Way / After Bandung, curated by Mark Nash and Vladimir Seput, and originally intended to be screened on-site in parallel with the exhibition Non-Aligned, are being made available to be streamed on our website for limited periods of time. Third Way signifies the third force that emerged during the Cold War, as a diversion from the United States and Soviet Union, and After Bandung refers to the period after the 1955 Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference. This was the period of rising decolonisation after World War II, with nations declaring their own independence and defending their own positions from colonial powers.

The original sequence of Third Way / After Bandung begins with Indonesia Calling by Joris Ivens, already a well-known Dutch filmmaker at that time, who arrived in Australia in 1945 as the Dutch East Indies Film Commissioner. Originally engaged to document the re-occupation of Indonesia by the Dutch, Ivens resigned from his position to join the anti-colonial movement in Australia. In the following year, he made Indonesia Calling, a significant work in this programme, that unpacks and contextualises the history of the Non-Aligned Movement, from the immediate post-war events, to the Bandung Conference in 1955 and thereafter the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961.

To learn more about this programme’s original scope and sequence, please click here. CCA gratefully acknowledges the collaboration of the curators, filmmakers, and distributors in making this transition to an online film programme possible during the global COVID-19 crisis.


Image: Joris Ivens, Indonesia Calling, film still, 1946. Courtesy the artist.