Indonesians Want Better Foreign Movies

July 11, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. customs tax (n.) [kuhs-tuhm] [taks] – government tax collected for import and export activities
Example: Some businessmen are urging the government to lower the rates for customs duty.

2. royalty (n.) [roi-uhl-tee] – a part of the income from a book, musical composition or movie which is paid to the creator, composer or author whenever his or her creation is used.
Example: The singer who did a remake of the song needed to pay royalty fees to Mr. Smith, the original composer.

3. second-rate (adj.) [sek-uhnd] [reyt] – of lesser or little quality
Example: Most second-rate films are boring to watch.

4. pirated (adj.) [pahy-ruhtud] – something (another's work) that is use or reproduced without permission
Example: Some people prefer to buy pirated DVDs and CDs because they are cheaper than original ones.

5. blockbuster (n.) [blok-buhs-ter] – something (usually a movie) that is or has become very popular and has achieved big sales
Example: Blockbuster movies are worth watching in the cinema.

Read the text below.

Movie-goers in Indonesia are hopeful to see more Hollywood movies after the government changed its tax policy on imported films.

Early this year, Indonesian government declared higher customs tax and royalty on foreign films. As a result, film importers cut down the number of Hollywood movies they purchase, limiting the choices of movie-goers to second-rate films like poorly made horror films or Chinese martial arts movies.

In addition, some movie fans started buying pirated DVDs just to be able to watch blockbuster foreign films. Others chose to travel to Singapore and Malaysia just to watch recent Hollywood movies like Thor, Kung Fu Panda and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.    

However, last June, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said that the government will remove royalty fees and increase the customs tax instead. He said these changes could encourage the showing of more imported films and could result in a more satisfying movie industry.

Vera Febyanthy, a member of the Indonesian Parliament, commented that the new regulation is a fair solution. She explains that even a politician like her needs to watch movies to relieve stress.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A 

·         Are there a lot of foreign films shown at your local cinema? What kind of movies are these?
·         Why do you think the government collects customs tax for imported films?

Discussion B
·         Do you think that more local films should be shown at local cinemas than Hollywood movies? Why?
·         Are foreign films more popular in your country than local films?

July 11, 2011