Indonesia Calling

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Indonesia Calling
Directed by Joris Ivens
Produced by Waterside Workers Federation
Written by Joris Ivens (script)
Catherine Duncan (commentary)
Narrated by Peter Finch
Cinematography Marion Michelle
Edited by Joris Ivens
Release date
  • 1946 (1946)
Running time
22 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Indonesia Calling is a 1946 Australian short documentary film directed by Joris Ivens and produced by the then Waterside Workers' Federation. The film gives a glimpse of immediate post-World War II Sydney as trade union seamen and waterside workers refuse to service Dutch ships (known as the "Black Armada") containing arms and ammunition destined for Indonesia to suppress the country's independence movement.[1] Ivens filming of the events taking place gradually became a symbol even for those who had not seen the film and had a growing following in the Netherlands, long before the film had an audience.

Joris Ivens suffered persecution from his stance about the Dutch and Indonesia. Ivens had his Dutch passport seized by the Dutch authorities for a few months at a time in order to monitor his whereabouts. Finally, in 1985, the Dutch government presented Ivens with a Golden Calf. At the ceremony, the Dutch minister gave a speech and in his words, "Shortly after the war, your support for Indonesia's right to self-determination and your film Indonesia Calling brought you into conflict with the Dutch government […] I can now say that history has come down more on your side than on the side of your adversaries."


  1. ^ "Events on Australia's Film Front". The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 17 August 1946. p. 9 Supplement: SUNDAY MAGAZINE. Retrieved 11 February 2012. 
  • Murray, Scott, ed. (1994). Australian Cinema. St.Leonards, NSW.: Allen & Unwin/AFC. p. 38. ISBN 1-86373-311-6. 
  • Hans Schoots, Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000)

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