The Year of Living Dangerously

2 12 2010

The Year of Living Dangerously was a film about the political turmoil that in Jakarta during the Indonesian civil war of 1965. The story is centered around an australian journalist Guy Hamiliton who is trying to get the biggest story while he is staying in Jakarta. There he is introduced to photographer Billy Kwan who is a half chinese dwarf who believes that we should all “add our light to the sum of light.” By using Billy’s connections Guy is able to meet some of the major political players within the civil war. Through Billy he meets a diplomat by the name of Jill who he ends up falling madly in love with. She uncovers a bit of information while she is working at the embassy that there may be an uprising soon within the city. She explains this to Guy in secret but he feels it his moral obligation to report it because although it may have just been a small threat it is still news. This causes a riff between not only Jill but also Billy who is a native of the country. Billy becomes enraged by the presidents lack of support to the people who are living in poverty within most of the country. He decides to hang a sign outside of the hotel where there is many media outlets filming. He is thrown from the window by security and dies in Guy’s arms. Once the information is leaked about the activists having a weapons shipment coming in and they may use it for their uprising, Guy heads to the presidents to get the scoop. When he arrives there he is beaten by guards so badly that he ends up losing his eye. Although he wants to stay in order to report the chaos that is going on and the massive human suffering guy ends up fleeing the city with Jill and heading home. This movie was interesting because it gave the viewer a glimpse of how hard things can be living in an unreliable political environment. When there is massive poverty, it seems only fitting that people will start to  become fed up with the current system and rise up above their oppressors. This movie showed exactly that and it portrayed the “rebels” in a positive light. It is always important to stand up for injustice and although it was a sad to see, its message was clear and important.




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