Jakarta. Democratic Party presidential hopeful Pramono Edhie Wibowo asked Malaysia to explain why the country's film board had banned "The Raid 2: Berandal," the ultra-violent but internationally acclaimed Indonesian martial arts film that was released in theaters last week."It is very unfortunate that the Malaysian government banned this movie without giving any reason," Pramono said in Jakarta on Tuesday.
The movie was scheduled to hit Malaysian screens on March 28, but as of Tuesday, it had not been shown anywhere in the country. There has been no official statement from the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia on why the movie by Welsh director Gareth Evans had not been screened.
Calls to the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia were not returned — but the film does not appear on the board's list of approved new films. The Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta declined to comment on the ban when contacted by the Jakarta Globe.
Pramono called on the Malaysian government to view the film as a positive contributor to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (Asean) film industry.
"I also demand that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively perform its mediation function with the Malaysian government," he said.
A Malaysian movie site, cinema.com.my, reported that Malaysian audiences were disappointed by the lack of screenings in the country.
One moviegoer, Nicholas Lim, told the site he was disheartened by the ban because he had enjoyed the first movie, "The Raid: Redemption," which was not banned in Malaysia. The second film, however, contains more scenes of graphic violence than the first.
"The Raid 2" was released in Indonesia on March 28. More than 300,000 people saw the film during its opening weekend.