The Year of Living Dangerously (1982) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Guy Hamilton is a journalist on his first job as a foreign correspondent. His apparently humdrum assignment to Indonesia soon turns hot as President Sukarno electrifies the populace and frightens foreign powers. Guy soon is the hottest reporter on the story with the help of his photographer, half- Chinese dwarf Billy Kwan, who has gone native. Guy's affair with diplomat Jill Bryant also helps. Eventually Guy must face some major moral choices and the relationship between Billy and him reaches a crisis at the same time the politics of Indonesia does.

    - Written by Reid Gagle
  • 1965. Guy Hamilton with the Australian Broadcasting Service (ABS) has been appointed to his first ever foreign posting, which he has been working toward for ten years. It is in Jakarta, Indonesia, covering the volatile political situation of the country under President Sukarno, who of late has been providing support to the unelected Communist Party (PKI). Among the foreign correspondents who have an uneasy alliance with each other, Guy is the neophyte, who doesn't have a full comprehension of what is required to do the job well, especially since his predecessor did not stay to provide him with a primer of the job. He is, however, taken under the wing of dwarf Billy Kwan, a Chinese-Australian photojournalist, who sees something special in Guy, despite Guy being a little rough around the edges. Billy, who is a strong supporter of Sukarno's, provides Guy with what he finds is remarkable access to political stories. Billy also introduces Guy to Jill Bryant, a British Embassy staffer who Billy has always loved himself. Jill is soon scheduled to leave Jakarta and return to London. Nonetheless, Guy and Jill fall in love. A situation in Billy's private life leads to a radical change in his perspective. And Guy comes into some sensitive information, which if he decides to use it, could be the biggest break in his thus far short journalistic career, but could in turn put his life and the lives of those around him, especially Jill, in great danger.

    - Written by Huggo
  • A young Australian reporter tries to navigate the political turmoil of Indonesia during the rule of President Sukarno with the help of a diminutive photographer.

    - Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>


A rookie Australian journalist, covering the Indonesian civil war of 1965, must choose between romance and the story that will make his career.

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