The documentary film Dirty Vote attracted over 6 million views in the first day of its release on YouTube.

The frenzied final weeks of campaigning leading up to the presidential election on 14 February were high octane and packed with promises, symbols, celebrity and cash. When the dance literally stopped, in the traditional cooling off period a few days ahead of the polls opening, a documentary film called Dirty Vote dropped on YouTube.

The work of activist filmmaker, Dandhy Laksono, the film has a lecture-style format featuring three constitutional law experts as its cast. At just under two hours long, the film draws on extensive research conducted over many years by the experts and their colleagues, to shed light on the depth of election fraud, money politics and the systemic deterioration and abuse of Indonesia’s democratic institutions, including the electoral system, anti-corruption agency and the judiciary.

Dirty Vote attracted over 6 million views in the first day of release and has since amassed around 30 million views on YouTube.

What were the filmmaker’s aims for this film and what kind of impact were they hoping it to have? What were its key messages and what is the path for Indonesia’s democratic project moving forward?

In this week’s episode Dr Jemma Purdey chats with Bivitri Susanti, Deputy Director of the Indonesia Jentera School of Law and co-founder of the Indonesian Center for Law and Policy Studies (PSHK).

In 2024, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jemma Purdey from the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Tito Ambyo from RMIT, Dr Elisabeth Kramer from the University of New South Wales and Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University


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