Bali bans film on 2002 nightclub bombings

JAKARTA (AP): Authorities on Bali island have banned a film about the 2002 nightclub bombings, saying allowing the movie to be shown in cinemas there would reopen old wounds.

"It is still too soon for the Balinese to watch this," said I Gusti Ngurah Gede, head of the island's film censorship board, said Sunday. "In the opinion of the board, there is no benefit in showing the film now."

"Long Road to Heaven," which has been shown at cinemas elsewhere in Indonesia, offers an unflinching look at the bombings and the motivation of the Indonesian and Malaysian Islamic militants who planned and carried them out. It was produced by one of the country's most renowned filmmakers.

The Oct. 12, 2002, suicide attacks on two packed nightclubs killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, and forced authorities in the world's most populous Muslim nation to confront a militant fringe some had previously denied existed.

Gede said Balinese officials, religious leaders and relatives of the victims watched the film last week and most agreed it should not be shown out of fear it may cause tensions on the resort island.

The film's producers were not immediately available for comment.

The nightclub blasts were carried out by the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group, which has since been blamed for a series of other attacks on Western targets in Indonesia, including a second set of suicide bombings in 2005 on Bali. (***)
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KuKuKaChu: dangerously too sophisticated