Segments in this Video

Fall of Suharto: Introduction (02:03)


In 1997, protests and economic instability threatened to overthrow President Suharto's regime, culminating in the shooting of student activists at Trisakti University by government security forces. Suharto stepped down, and the era of Reformasi began. This film will investigate how much Indonesia has changed.

Suharto's Path to the Presidency (09:14)

Suharto gained prestige in the Indonesian Army and eventually married Siti Hartinah. A coup blamed on the Communists threatened to tear the country apart, and General Suharto slowly wrested control from President Sukarno. Now president, Suharto utilized Western-trained economists and propaganda to rebuild Indonesia's failing economy and reunite the country.

Suharto's Nepotism and Chinese Support (03:43)

Wealth was often used as a bargaining chip; support from Chinese investors was used to purchase political favors. Suharto's family grew rich from nepotistic policies and rampant corruption. To ensure order, the Indonesian Army was tasked with surveilling and censoring anti-government sentiment.

Indonesians Rebel amid Economic Collapse (04:21)

In July of 1997, the Indonesian economy plummeted, resulting in widespread hunger and unemployment. Within a year, Suharto agreed to a $43 million bailout from the International Monetary Fund; stipulations inadvertently collapsed the country's banking system. Pro-democracy movements exploded from universities, calling for political reform.

Suharto's Divided Army Responds (05:27)

Suharto's security forces kidnapped student activists. Jakarta filled with protestors calling for a complete regime change. The Indonesian National Armed Forces were unable to effectively curtail growing public dissent.

Indonesian Soldiers Kill Student Protesters (07:23)

On May 12th, 1998, security forces fired on student activists from Trisakti University. Muhammad Setiawan retells the events and visits the memorials of the four students slain that day. Suharto, attending a G15 summit in Cairo, never expected events to escalate that far.

Riots and Indonesian Parliament Stormed (05:30)

Within a day of the Trisakti University shootings, poor villagers rioted, attacking and looting shops and cars, and assaulting the Chinese community in Jakarta. Foreigners attempted to escape the country. Within the week, tens of thousands of students stormed the Indonesian Parliament, demanding Suharto's resignation.

Suharto Resigns (03:17)

As protestors overran Jakarta, Suharto promised elections. Public outcry intensified and he resigned on May 21st, 1998. With Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie sworn in as the new president, Indonesia's age of Reformasi began.

Suharto's Aftermath: Modern-day Indonesia (04:35)

Indonesia seeks distance from the militaristic despotism of the Suharto. The Suharto family still controls vast amounts of Indonesia's wealth and infrastructure, and former New Order politicians benefit from lax and unscrupulous policies. Members of the Kamisan silent protest movement continue to fight for the reckoning of human rights abuses.

Fall of Suharto: Credits (00:40)

Fall of Suharto: Credits

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The Fall of Suharto, Episode 2

Part of the Series : The Asian Century, Series 1
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



In early 1998, financial crises sparked protests against the man who had ruled the sprawling archipelago nation of Indonesia with an iron first for more than three decades. On May 12th, security forces opened fire on students at Trisakti University, killing four young people, and Indonesia erupted within hours. Nine days later, Suharto made a speech declaring that he could no longer serve as president. Suharto’s brutal rule had been forged in violence, and its abrupt end provoked bitter religious and social turmoil across the nation. Today, the mass murder of nearly one million which led to Suharto’s seizure of power is being reexamined. In this episode, we unfold the day-by-day events that led to the fall of Suharto, long regarded as Indonesia’s “puppet master.”

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL154351

ISBN: 978-1-64481-024-8

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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