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Singapore Views Long-Banned Movie

April 27, 1999

SINGAPORE (AP) _ More than 15 years after it was banned out of deference to neighboring Indonesia, the film ``The Year of Living Dangerously″ finally played in Singapore on Tuesday.

The Singapore Film Commission showed the 1982 movie, with much fanfare, as part of a program to inspire young filmmakers. Singapore’s annual film festival gave it a high-profile debut the same day.

The film, directed by Peter Weir, features Mel Gibson as a foreign correspondent covering the botched 1965 communist coup attempt in Indonesia, and the collapse of then-President Sukarno’s authoritarian regime. Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt also star.

The tiny island republic of Singapore, nearly surrounded by the huge Indonesian archipelago, banned the film in 1983.

It lifted the ban late last year as ``part of a regular exercise″ by censors to ``review decisions on films previously disallowed,″ the government Films and Publications Department said in a written response to questions. It made no mention of political sensitivities.

Weir, an Australian who also directed ``The Truman Show,″ ``Witness,″ ``Green Card″ and other films, opened both showings.

``I think it’s a sign of maturity that the ban is gone, and I hope that the film festival suffers no further bans of any kind,″ he said at a news conference.

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