Rise and Shine World Sales has secured the rights to In-Soo Radstake’s groundbreaking documentary, “Selling a Colonial War,” following its premiere in the International Competition at IDFA.
This latest addition to the Berlin-based Rise and Shine’s IDFA lineup, which includes other international premieres like “In Wolf Country” and “Son of the Mullah,” both featured in the festival’s Frontlight section, aims to critically explore and artistically delve into pressing issues of our time.
In “Selling a Colonial War,” Radstake, a Korean-Dutch filmmaker, meticulously probes the troubling colonial history of the Netherlands in Indonesia. Unveiled at the illustrious 1,400-seat Royal Theatre Carré on a Saturday premiere, the documentary has witnessed overwhelming demand, with subsequent screenings consistently selling out.
The film peels back the layers of the Dutch government’s narrative during the Indonesian War of Independence, exposing a carefully constructed façade of peacekeeping interventions. The documentary contends that, beneath this veneer, lurked a hidden motive to secure the valuable colony for post-war recovery and global prestige.
Describing the film’s premise, it sheds light on the Netherlands’ reluctance to confront its shadowy colonial legacy. Radstake reveals a disinformation campaign aimed at shielding the nation from its past, unraveling the concealed history, exposing layers of deception and global political intricacies. The documentary also illuminates the persistent narrative that obscured Dutch actions in Indonesia for decades.
In a poignant director’s note, Radstake acknowledges the sensitivity surrounding the colonial past in the Netherlands, igniting impassioned debates on historical injustices, identity, responsibility, acknowledgment, and reparations. The film immerses itself in the societal struggle of Dutch identity and the ongoing debates surrounding colonial history.
On a broader scale, the documentary becomes a pivotal participant in the global discourse on decolonization, image manipulation, framing, and misinformation. Radstake draws parallels between historical events and contemporary conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine, highlighting the role and impact of propaganda in the battle for narrative control. The film’s storytelling aims to render this complex history accessible to a broader audience, resonating with the experiences of both former colonizers and colonized nations worldwide.