AroView: Searing political thriller based on the death of five Australian-based journalists (one, a Kiwi) who, upon covering the occupation of East Timor in the mid-70’s, were secretively killed by invading Indonesian forces.
With the help of veteran writer David Williamson, director Robert Connolly steps up his game here to deliver a mature and riveting drama that is committed to authenticity in content and style as it tells its parallel stories of the “Balibo Five” and one man’s conflicted duty to find them. One could quibble that the over-emphatic finale is trumped by an earlier, pivotal scene both in staging and impact, but going against the bleak events and message it delivers to Australians, this is an important film they can be well proud of.
Synopsis: As Indonesia prepares to invade the tiny nation of East Timor, five Australian based journalists go missing. Four weeks later, veteran foreign correspondent Roger East is lured to East Timor by the young and charismatic José Ramos-Horta to tell the story of his country and investigate the fate of the missing men. As East’s determination to uncover the truth grows, the threat of invasion intensifies and an unlikely friendship develops between the last foreign correspondent in East Timor and the man who will become President. BALIBO is a political thriller that tells the true story of crimes that have been covered up for over thirty years.