[an error occurred while processing this directive]

The two learning activities pose questions to facilitate student understanding of the SHADOW PLAY's content and concepts. Students might read supplemental information to prepare for and participate in each learning activity.

In Lesson 1, students explore the rise to power of Indonesia's infamous General Suharto and the circumstances leading to the nation's violent struggle against the Communist Party (PKI). Then, students will perform a learning activity in which they make shadow puppets that represent characters and forces at play in the events described in the film.

In Lesson 2, after exploring the Suharto regime and its military rise to power, students will examine the fall of a dictator, and the unique challenges his or her absence presents to the country. In their research and decision-making, the students will gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of establishing a stable democratic society.

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: A Shadow Play: The Origins of Dictatorship
Lesson 2: In the Light of Day: Reconciliation after a Dictatorship

Background Reading

Use the following selected articles from this Web site to provide students with background reading on events in Indonesia. You may print these pages, and photocopy them for distribution to students.

General Suharto:
Taking advantage of the opportunity to consolidate power, Suharto began a ruthless military campaign to wipe out the Communist Party. He oversaw a bloody purge of Communists and suspected Communists between 1965 and 1966 that resulted in mass murders in villages and towns across the country.

History Speaks:
Recently declassified documents reveal the role the United States played in Indonesian events as General Suharto moved to destroy the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

Indonesia Today:
Indonesia's current president has to balance the West's demand for security against a rising tide of Islamic militancy sweeping through her predominantly Muslim nation with the rise of militant groups like Laskar Jihad (Holy War), a fundamentalist Islamic militia formed in 2000, that claims to have a standing army of 10,000 fighters throughout Indonesia and has been linked to forced religious conversions and the recent killing of more than 5,000 Christians in the Maluccas Islands.

Dictatorship to Democracy:
Indonesia's president must hold the country together while it is battered by armed separatist forces and increasingly bloody outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence. She also has to deal with rooting out Islamic terrorist cells linked to Al Qaeda, rampant corruption, a weak judiciary system, and serious economic problems. And if that weren't enough, she has inherited a military that is accustomed to running the country with an iron hand, without civilian interference.

On January 5, 2002, the JAKARTA POST reported that the Indonesian government had drafted a bill creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission is intended to document human rights abuses committed under both the Sukarno and Suharto regimes, and to find a path toward national forgiveness and reconciliation.

Print this page.
Email this page to a friend.
Continue to Lesson Plan 1
Photo of a young Indonesian girl

A young Indonesian girl enjoys a festival celebrating the independence of her country.

© 2002 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Real Player 56k T1 Real Player 56k T1 Introduction Lesson Plans Lesson Plan 1 Lesson Plan 2 National Standards Resources