The new feature documentary scheduled for release at the Melbourne International Film Festival this year, Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia, revisits the making of the 22-minute, 1946 documentary (Indonesia Calling) that Ivens made here in Australia. It seeks to distil aspects of the historical context of the events depicted in the film, and to elaborate something of the intersections of this small film with major re-alignments in Australia’s relationship to its northern neighbour, and with an emerging Australian documentary film culture.
There has been renewed interest in Ivens’ work in recent years. The European Foundation Joris Ivens (EFJI), The Netherlands’ cultural institution dedicated to the management of the Ivens archive and the promotion of the filmmaker’s works, has recently released DVD box sets of selected works from the 80 films that Ivens made over the course of his energetic, controversial and long life.
Ivens was born in the town of Nijmegen in The Netherlands – where the EFJI is now located – in 1898. He died, aged 90, in Paris in 1989. The DVD box sets are calibrated slightly differently from one another: a “French/English” version is comprised of two separate packages, while the Dutch version is one set of five DVDs, with 20 films, plus extras. The Dutch collection includes a book by the Foundation’s director, André Stufkens. This book will shortly be published also in German, with an English language version to follow.
The re-mastered DVD releases of Ivens’ selected works will engender re-evaluations of Ivens’ œuvre, and no doubt enliven new debates around his art and politics, and the significance of particular works for their time and place, and for documentary history and theory.
Both the Cinémathèque Française and IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) have held major retrospectives of Ivens works over the past six months. There has also been a conference in Beijing and seminars in Paris. During the past few years, a number of “revisit” films have also been made, focusing on Ivens’ works in Bulgaria, Italy and China.
This growing sub-genre of “revisit” films is remarkable for the variety of approaches they adopt to the tradition that has inspired them. A thorough account of these secondary studies would in itself be an intriguing project. There is, to my mind, one marvellous standout work, Daniele Vicari’s Italian feature, Il mio paese (My Country, 2006). However, a review of the Ivens “revisit” films is the topic for another occasion; let’s begin, rather, at the beginning of the Australian story.
Joris Ivens came to Australia in early 1945 as The Netherlands’ East Indies Film Commissioner. The Netherlands East Indies (NEI) government was resident in Australia at this time due to the occupation of the Dutch colony by the Japanese. Ivens’ job was to make a series of films documenting and supporting what the NEI government anticipated would be their reoccupation of the colony – what we now know as Indonesia – following the defeat of the Japanese, and to establish a nation-building educational film agency.
Several things got in the way of the newly appointed NEI Film Commissioner completing his mission: history, politics and principles.
The Japanese capitulated shortly after the dropping of the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the Americans on 6 August and 9 August 1945. This brought a surprisingly abrupt challenge to the Indonesian Independence movement, whose leaders, under irresistible pressure from their youth movements, promptly proclaimed independence on 17 August. The Dutch plans for a gradual – very gradual, they had hoped – transition to some form of self-government in their colonies became suddenly redundant. They chose to consider the Indonesian actions as an insurgency and took military action accordingly. Ivens’ prospects for a “liberation film” and an ongoing nation-building film program in post-war Indonesia dissolved, along with the unrealistic and perhaps wishful reformist NEI governors.
Even if Ivens had wanted to participate in a “liberation” film under these conditions, it would have been very difficult for him to do so. The Americans controlled the theatres of war in this part of the world and they considered Ivens an agent of the Soviet Union. He was banned from going anywhere near the action. Despite a scheme developed by Ivens’ supporters in the NEI government-in-exile, the return of troops and government officials to the capital Batavia (now Jakarta) as a matter of urgency certainly did not include Ivens or his crew. He waited, stranded in Australia, staring out on the wharves below from his apartment on the 8th floor of Birtley Towers in Elizabeth Bay Road (Sydney).
In early September 1945, a mutiny by Indonesian seamen, government office workers and dockworkers refusing to load Dutch ships was supported by Australian trade unions who also “walked off”. The Dutch armada was declared “black”. Trade unions and community groups organised demonstrations, petitions and actions to stall the Dutch. Indian and Chinese seamen refused to man the ships. Australian soldiers in Borneo and elsewhere in the region signed petitions declaring support for Indonesia; they said they would not fight for “Dutch imperialism”. The Dutch subsequently forced hastily flown-in Indian seamen to work at gunpoint. But as soon as the Indians realised they were expected to be strikebreakers, they too “walked off”. They shared with the Indonesians a common vision of a post-colonial Asian region and very often a cultural identity as Muslims. The Chifley government was torn, but did not take on the unions.
In November, Ivens also “walked off”, resigning his commission and joining the anti-colonial movement. He started to document events unfolding on the wharves. The film that resulted was Indonesia Calling. The stories of the film’s genesis, Australia’s early relations with the emergence of a free Indonesia and aspects of the fall-out from the film are the subject of this new project.
“We sent the film to Poland to have it judged by Joris Ivens.”
– Keith Gow, Waterside Workers Federation Film Unit
Ivens’ time in Australia (1945-47), and the context in which Indonesia Calling was made, concern a complex historic moment of de-colonisation. The Netherlands East Indies, occupied during the war by Japan, was soon to be free of Japanese occupation and its colonial past. The Netherlands, Australia, Britain, the United States and the Indonesians were all divided in a variety of ways about how this might be achieved. When Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaimed Indonesia’s independence, Ivens – with his American, Australian and Indonesian collaborators – began to forge what was to become, as Ivens himself said at the time, “Australia’s first labour film”.
This moment of “independence” was fought in several registers. The Australian government was challenged to stand up in support of their close northern neighbour against wartime allies and major Western powers. This was an opportunity for the Australian people to reject a culture of racial discrimination and collaborate with Indians, Chinese and Indonesians. And there was the necessity for a film to be made independently of government and corporate interests. Ivens’ film, in one way or another, engaged productively with each of these areas, and had lasting effects.
For Australian film culture, Indonesia Calling demonstrated to an Australian trade union leadership how effective a film could be in contentious political debate. It was Ivens’ precedent that created a fertile environment for the initiative of the Waterside Workers Federation (WWF) Film Unit – Norma Disher, Keith Gow and Jock Levy – who went on to produce an important body of “progressive” film work for the unions from 1953 until 1958. (1)
“The documentary must not remain a grounds for emotional or literary excitement at the beauty of matter; it must draw reactions and provoke latent activities.”
– Joris Ivens (1931)
The most thorough account of Indonesia Calling’s production is almost certainly Eric van ’t Groenewout’s Ph.D. thesis (Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1979). Subsequently, André Stufkens deploys this and other documents from the van ’t Groenewout collection, along with more recent scholarship, to provide a thorough chronicle for his chapter on Indonesia Calling in his book accompanying the Dutch DVD box set. The primary recent account of the film’s production in English is a chapter in Hans Schoots’ Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (2), while a perfectly good summary remains the first detailed investigation of the film’s production by the Australian film historian Graeme Cutts (3).
Senses of Cinema has also published a more recent paper by historians Drew Cottle and Angela Keys that was subsequently presented at the 2006 Biennial Conference of the Film and History Association of Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne. (4) Their work draws on Rupert Lockwood’s 1975 book on the blockade, Black Armada (5), and, importantly, on security intelligence and Department of External Affairs files that help illuminate some of the action behind the scenes. They also tantalisingly tease out some of the connections with the Chinese left that occurred in Sydney during this period. Heather Goodall has also recently published (in Labour History) excellent work around key events and people in the film that challenges an Australian historiography that has failed to sufficiently recognise the cultural exchanges experienced “under the radar” of official histories over generations. (6) This is a crucial insight, and one shared and elaborated upon by Deane Williams in his various indispensable articles and books on Australian documentary history, particularly his work on John Heyer and Catherine Duncan, the latter particularly pertinent to the making of Indonesia Calling (7).
EFJI Newsmagazine over recent years has also published a number of essays related to Indonesia Calling. One example is Robert Hamilton and Laura Kotevska’s essay arguing that the film anticipates an Australian multiculturalism at a time when the notorious “White Australia” policy was still in place. (8) Another important work is Gerda Jansen-Hendriks scholarly reflection on a number of films depicting events surrounding the birth of Indonesia and the Dutch retreat from its former colony. (9) In particular, Jansen-Hendriks considers the relationship between Indonesia Calling and Through Darkness to Light, the film made by Jan Moi and Mannus Franken after they took up the government commission refused by Ivens (both were colleagues of Ivens from the early avant-garde of the Dutch Film League). Jansen-Hendriks makes the observation that “it is remarkable that a documentary about post-war Indonesia does not once name the newly proclaimed republic, nor show Sukarno”. She also makes the important point that a high degree of violence accompanying the independence struggle has been insufficiently represented in many accounts favouring the depiction of a heroic independence movement.
Jansen-Hendriks’ essay (and, in another register, the essay from Hamilton and Kotevska) reminds us of the worrisome complicity between myth, advocacy, nationalism and documentary.
Ivens’ life’s work engages with the turning points of 20th century political history. Indonesia Calling, in this context, is sometimes considered more a “pamphlet” than a work inviting æsthetic appreciation. It is an instance where the urgency of social justice – and in this case a specifically post-colonial ambition – eclipses the æsthetic modernism that Bill Nichols talks about as one moment in the dynamic history of 20th century documentary as it engaged with formalism, realism and rhetoric.
In teasing out the attributes of form that characterise Ivens’ realism of the 1930s, for example, Bill Nichols writes,
no longer the elusive artist who speaks through (modernist) form, the filmmaker now speaks with a cinematic body of sounds and images, attesting to situated experience and conditional knowledge of the historical world. He forgoes the beauty of formal pattern […] to acknowledge […] a determining subjectivity responsible for history making itself […]. The documentarian, committed to “being there”, has arrived. (10)
The “poetic”, formal and rhetorical dimensions of documentary representation remain in the composition, structure and flow of the film. However within a tradition of advocacy and activism – a tradition that comes into focus again today with the emergence of new forms of agit-prop cinema drawing on new technologies for production, distribution and exhibition – a film like Indonesia Calling is suddenly recognisable in its immediacy, its militancy, its urgency and its usefulness. The old documentary “sell-line”, “films with a purpose”, a slogan devalued and dormant now for some time, regains its pertinence in the present moment.
As an independent film made with very limited resources, but with passion and commitment, Indonesia Calling not only enunciated a new possibility in Australia’s dialogue with Indonesia, but also announced a new mode of collaboration in an emerging Australian documentary practice. None of these articulations of “independence” – the anti-colonialist nationalism of the Indonesians, the creative and editorial independence of Ivens and his collaborators, or the autonomous community-based filmmaking collective – were welcomed by governments of their day. On the contrary, they were subject to intense suspicion, surveillance and “spoiling” – long after the immediate events that gave rise to these commitments had passed. So, it was here in Australia where Indonesia Calling called up both a radical, oppositional voice and a covert, state-sponsored response: suspicious, authoritarian and disciplinary.
The scale of the exodus when the Dutch fled Japanese occupation of the NEI in early 1942 was enormous. The whole apparatus of Dutch colonial administration was transported by ship and emergency airlifts to Broome and other ports in Australia. Fifty-seven aircraft arrived in Broome in one day; they would refuel and return through treacherous skies threatened by Japanese “Zero” fighters bringing files, arms and personnel. After only two weeks, there were 8,000 refugees from the Indies in Broome. This hasty surrender provided the staging post for Japanese bombing raids on Broome and Darwin.
Within 12 months or so, the Dutch were operating a number of government departments on Australian soil. The administration included the internment of Dutch political prisoners evacuated from jungle camps in West Papua, where Indonesian independence activists had been exiled since the 1920s. Australians became aware of the internment of these men when one prisoner managed to pass a note to a railway worker at Newcastle station during their transfer to the internment camp in Cowra, NSW. After a long campaign, those interned were finally released in December 1943. (11) They began to meet with Indonesian seamen, soldiers and administrative staff who were working around the country with the NEI government-in-exile. Some of them were recruited into The Netherlands Information Service. It was these ex-political prisoners that formed the core of Indonesian independence activism in Australia.
One office of the NEI government-in-exile was The Netherlands Indies Government Information Service (NIGIS), with its Film and Photo Unit. The appointment of Ivens as Film Commissioner, an appointment made and announced out of New York in late 1944, caused both dismay and delight among those already engaged in the work of NIGIS (an organisation based in Melbourne). Growing mutual suspicion between the established Film and Photo Unit and Ivens and his imported team was to fall into sharp relief as the political crisis escalated.
Among those drawn to work with Ivens was the Australian radio star, writer and actor Catherine Duncan. She was something of a celebrity in Australia. She knew Frederick Daniell, the radio entrepreneur and film producer who was at the helm of the Film and Photo Unit. Duncan was determined to get into documentary filmmaking – the “it” avant-garde cultural form of the moment. When she heard that Ivens was coming, she persuaded “Freddie” Daniell to hire her as a scriptwriter on the propaganda newsreels the Unit was making for the Dutch.
It was Duncan who introduced Ivens to Indonesian independence activists. Duncan had been an activist herself since the late 1930s; it was she who organised the controversial actions around Clifford Odets’ banned anti-fascist play, Till the Day I Die, with Melbourne’s Workers Theatre Group (later The New Theatre). One of Daniell’s deepest subsequent regrets was the way that – to his way of seeing things – Ivens had “carried on an intrigue” with Duncan after Daniell and invested so much time and energy in educating her.
While the Indonesian independence crisis was unfolding, other arms of government in Australia were working toward the establishment of a government film production agency like that of the Dutch and Canadian agencies. Herbert “Nugget” Coombs, as Director General of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction, initiated a series of actions in 1942 that resulted, finally – with important and possibly crippling compromises – in Cabinet approval for the establishment of the Australian National Film Board (ANFB).
In June 1945, Ivens spoke to the inaugural Board of the ANFB in an address entitled, “The Meaning of Documentary Film in National Development”. Little could he have known at that time that he was soon to make a decision regarding “Documentary Film in National Development” that would exile him from his homeland for decades.
Working clandestinely, very ill, and with this remarkable “multicultural” team, Ivens, with his American partner and collaborator Marion Michelle as principal cinematographer, documented the events of the blockade: “a film about the ships that did not sail”; with commentary by Duncan, and narrated by fellow Australian New Theatre actor Peter Finch.
The film was made against enormous odds; there was very little available equipment or stock, indeed an Australian security file includes a handwritten note: “Kodak agreed not [to] supply Mr Ivens with film footage [sic].” Film stock may have been “donated” by Australian soldiers returning from Borneo and “short ends” were also contributed by Harry Watt, who was here in Australia making The Overlanders (1946) – a key inspiration for Baz Luhrmann’s Australia (2008). Axel Poignant, who was on Watt’s camera crew, Merv Murphy and his partner at Supreme Sound, and Gwen Oakley all contributed work to the film. John Heyer is also said to have shot scenes for it, while Ken Coldicutt shot scenes on the Melbourne wharves that were not used.
Indonesia Calling was screened publicly for the first time in Australia at the Kings Cross Newsreel Theatre on 9 August 1946, to an audience mostly of Indonesians. While the film was banned for export, there was a public furore as the Dutch and the conservative opposition demanded that the film be banned from exhibition in Australia. This focused the Government’s attention on the fact that regulation of film certification and censorship was wildly discordant throughout the Federation. The matter quickly became an agenda item for the next conference of COAG (Council of Australian Governments). The States that had censorship provisions in place responded to an urgent telegram from Prime Minister Ben Chifley reporting the Dutch demand, by declining to ban the film, citing their opinion that the film simply recounted events already widely reported.
When the ANFB’s first Producer-in-Chief, Stanley Hawes, arrived from Canada to take charge of the embryonic Film Division – the Board’s production arm – he inherited Department of Information newsreel units. Some of the people Hawes wanted to hire in the late 1940s and early 1950s were simply vetoed by security; others, having been hired, were sacked without any consultation with Hawes at all.
Duncan slipped through early; she was a foundation member of the ANFB’s production staff and was hired by the first (and last) Film Commissioner, the Canadian Ralph Foster. In 1946 and 1947, she wrote and directed the Division’s first series, Australia and Your Future, for the Immigration Department: Men Wanted (1947), Christmas Under the Sun (1947) and This is the Life (1947). The security services soon realised that the government’s film production house – with its mandated brief to deliver all government department film needs – had among its staff people who had worked on Indonesia Calling.
As the Cold War settled in and Australia became increasingly enmeshed in the American and British nuclear programs, the security apparatus also intensified. Duncan was a prime target among many – despite the fact that she had been out of the country since 1947. The “snoops” concluded that her relationships with various men, Ivens among them, and others at the ANFB’s Film Division constituted a threat to national security. Indeed, Hawes was himself suspected of worrisome relations with Duncan. This, along with the fact that Duncan was believed to still be in contact with Ivens, led to security agency surveillance on a number of people with whom she was associated for decades afterwards. These dossiers, of course, were secret, and none of those affected, despite what suspicions they may have had, could have known definitively of the files’ existence. Nor would they have had the opportunity to know their accusers, or answer the allegations against them.
“An undoubted communist”, the security files assert of Duncan, “she slept with anyone and did not care who knew it.” And all those networked with her therefore: “due to their past intimate relationships with Communist Catherine Duncan […] could be call[ed] to heel whenever it suited her”. Furthermore, the security logic concluded: “Consequently information concerning the current activities of the Film Division […] could be passed not only to the Communist Party of Australia but also abroad, possibly to Ivans [sic]”.
ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organisation) considered Hawes a secret communist, and classified him as “adversely known” and a security risk up until about a year before he retired from the public service in 1970. They suspected him of being a spy, possibly because he had been recommended to the ANFB by Foster, who fell foul of the Canadian Espionage Royal Commission of 1946.
The suspicions held and damage done to the lives and work of all of these people in the name of national security were, in each case, character smears without substance.
Because of their work with Ivens, the security services closely watched and “spoiled” security clearances and job opportunities for those involved with Indonesia Calling. At one point, the apparatus of the Department of Supply’s division that was managing security around the Australian-British atom bomb tests suggested that these people should simply be culled during one of the many “restructures” of the Film Division. Hawes’ defence of some of his staff contributed to his own difficulties: he was under enormous suspicion and pressure during his career with the variously named Film Division/Commonwealth Film Unit/Film Australia. He was on limited contracts from 1946 until 1970 and was never given public service permanency.
Complex military and diplomatic negotiations proceeded on the ground in Indonesia, at the UN in New York and between “stakeholders” in Australia, including the Waterside Workers Federation. Australia finally came to a position in support of the Indonesians’ cause. Australia was able to establish its legitimacy with the emerging Indonesian leadership because of the support that had been demonstrated by Australian citizens in the boycotts, documented and affirmed by the advocacy of the film. The film documents the first crucial six months of the blockade. Over the course of a four-year period, more than 550 vessels were affected. The Chifley Labor government’s refusal to intervene against the waterfront unions, despite the government’s ambivalence over the issue, was undoubtedly a factor in the success of the campaign.
The film was an unexpected and inspirational expression of support to Indonesians under siege in Java. One man who was as a young teenager in Garut in West Java in 1947, linguist Rabin Hardjadibrata, remembers seeing Indonesia Calling on a couple of occasions:
They showed it preceding Gone With The Wind [Victor Fleming, 1939] […] it was indeed a surprise to see that here is a country well known for being “white Australia”, and yet they are supporting us! And of course a second time I went to make sure whether it was the same thing that I saw, and it was, of course. We always have a soft heart for the Australians because of that, of the support for Indonesian independence.
A negotiated settlement brokered by a United Nations “Good Officers Committee” – a committee to which Australia’s participation was nominated by the Indonesians – delivered a United States of Indonesia under the leadership of Sukarno which was handed sovereignty by the Dutch in late 1949. This became the Republic of Indonesia in 1956.
After the Chifley-Evatt (Bert Evatt was deputy leader from 1946) Labor government fell in December 1949, the conservative Menzies government reversed the momentary autonomy Australian foreign policy achieved in the war and immediate post-war years in favour of policy development mediated through the old metropolitan powers. Australia participated in the covert trafficking of arms to anti-Sukarno uprisings in The Moluccas from 1952. The ongoing covert destabilisation against the “non-aligned” movement finally climaxed with devastating force in the military coup of 1965 that deposed Sukarno and brought the pro-American dictator Suharto to power. Assessments vary, and the number of those killed during the purges that followed over several years will never be known, but best estimates suggest that something in the order of 800,000 people were killed in what The New York Times described at the time as “one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history” (12). Many of the young activists seen in Indonesia Calling were murdered or “disappeared” at that time.
Forces in contestation within Australia, the United Nations and in the region in the early post-war years enabled a start to be made towards an independent Republic of Indonesia. Concurrently, a committed and engaged documentary film culture in Australia emerged. Soon the Cold War locked off this early post-war optimism – optimism for both an independent cinema and “imagined communities” of independent nations forging their own futures with autonomy from metropolitan powers. The Cold War nurtured instead another kind of “secret history”.
By the time the security services had placed their agent in the newly formed Sydney Film Society in February 1947, and noted for their files – that the President, Heyer, was known to security as one “reported to expound the theories of Marx”; that the Society’s Patron, Professor A. K. Stout, had “recently been dropped from the Australian National Film Board”; and that Harry Watt had addressed the gathering in January, apologising for the absence of Ivens – Ivens had gone.
But Hawes and Stout were in the audience; these attendances compiled on cards and cross-referenced to the files of all of those whose names could be gathered, adding up to the increasing suspicion that a den of conspirators was forming. The secret conspiracy was, of course, conducted by the apparatus of the state – the Sydney Film Society was just that, a film society that screened new work. By the time of this February gathering, Ivens had sailed for Eastern Europe. He left Sydney on 8 January 1947. The Deputy Director of the Commonwealth Investigation Service interviewed Ivens on the deck of the Otranto on 10 January. He says that Ivens informed him that the actions of the (Commonwealth Investigation) Branch in Sydney “delayed the final completion of the film by some months”. He notes that the Dutch had been informed and that “perhaps London should be advised”. Duncan was noted as she, too, left in June 1947.
The remarkably salient memory that remains is that of the effectiveness and value of a small film, advocating independence, and performing it, despite intimidation, in interesting times.
Indonesia Calling: Joris Ivens in Australia will screen at the Melbourne International Film Festival on Saturday 25 July at 4:45 PM and Monday 3 August at 2:30 PM.
- When Ivens became President of the Jury at the World Festival of Youth and Students in Warsaw in 1955, he awarded a Gold Medal to the Australian film, The Hungry Miles, a 25-minute short made by WWF Film Unit in 1954. During a film I made about the WWF Film Unit’s work in the late 1970s (Film-Work, 1981), I asked veteran Australian filmmaker Keith Gow how The Hungry Miles was first received by the union leadership. He was a little reticent to answer. He said the leadership was “surprised” and even “disappointed”. They thought they were getting a film “about a particular strike, a particular struggle”. But The Hungry Miles has a much broader canvas: it constructs a history of dockworkers’ activism including startling recreations of the 1930s Depression on the wharves. But the union leadership decided they would put the film aside as “it shouldn’t perhaps be widely shown immediately”, as Gow delicately put it. He went on: “However, when the film won a gold medal in Poland and had been received well at screenings for the rank and file […] the leadership then saw that it must have some value.” The WWF Film Unit went on to make about a dozen films. At the height of the Cold War, the filmmakers’ unique position, supported by the most militant and strategic union in the country, allowed their work to be sustained when others were blacklisted, or severely constrained in government agencies under the control of conservative governments. These events remind us that from its earliest articulation the documentary movement has been an international one. There is an Australian documentary history, but the varieties of its practices, its genesis and aesthetics, are always enmeshed with filmmakers and films beyond its borders.
- Hans Schoots, Living Dangerously: A Biography of Joris Ivens (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2000).
- Graham Cutts, “Indonesia Calling and Joris Ivens”, in Albert Moran and Tom O’Regan (Eds), An Australian Film Reader (Sydney: Currency Press, 1985), pp. 350-64.
- Drew Cottle and Angela Keys, “From Colonial Film Commissioner to Political Pariah: Joris Ivens and the Making of Indonesia Calling”, Senses of Cinema, No. 41, October-December 2006.
- Rupert Lockwood, Black Armada (Sydney: Australasian Book Society, 1975).
- Heather Goodall, “Port Politics: Indian Seamen, Australian Unions and Indonesian Independence, 1945-47”, Labour History, Vol. 94 (May 2008), pp. 43-68.
- See, for example, Deane Williams, Australian Post-War Documentary Film: An Arc of Mirrors (Bristol and Chicago: Intellect, 2008); “Catherine Duncan: As others see us”, Screening the Past, No. 16, May 2004.
- Robert Hamilton and Laura Kotevska, “The Progressive Model of Indonesia Calling for Australian Society”, EFJI Newsmagazine, No. 11 (November 2005).
- Gerda Jensen-Hendriks, “Bersiap: Joris Ivens and the Early Indonesian Revolution”, EFJI Newsmagazine, No. 9 (November 2003).
- Bill Nichols, “The Documentary and the Turn from Modernism”, in Kees Bakker (Ed.), Joris Ivens and the Documentary Context (Amsterdam, 1999).
- Jan Lingard, Refugees and Rebels (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2008).
- William Blum, “United States Interventions (Part II)”, The Guardian, 19 July 2000.