Baligate Recreated in Jakarta

I heard on NPR this morning that the World Economic Forum has started in Davos, Switzerland. Several years ago I worked on a short film in Indonesia, commissioned by Price Waterhouse Coopers the year their CEO was the Chairman of the Forum.

In 1999 the Indonesian government of President Habibie demanded a secret $70,000,000 kickback from Bank Bali. He used the money to buy votes in the upcoming election. Forensic accountants from Price Waterhouse Coopers were called in to figure out what happened. What they discovered, and were able to present to the government, led to the downfall of President Habibie, and changed Indonesia forever.

I was asked to fly to Jakarta to start up a production that would recreate these tense moments in 1999. We shot a 5 minute film for the World Economic Forum that dramatized these events. I scouted locations all over the chaotic urban sprawl that is Jakarta. Working on a very tight timeline, and without any permits, we recreated scenes like anti-government demonstrations in downtown Jakarta and the burning of documents on the roof of the Regent Hotel. (Who ever thought accounting could be so exciting?) It was directed by Lenny Dorfman, and produced by Chris Rouchard, Andrew Shelton and Louise Shelton at Radical Media.