16 December 2009 | patlightfoot
Beside being a fan of Anthony Lapaglia I think he is a very under rated actor. But he won the Best Actor at the AFI awards last Saturday. And I believe he had to relearn his Australian accent having spent so many years in the US of A. From a historical point of view I remember the year but had no idea Roger East was involved in the search for the five missing journalists.
But I do remember that Australia was viewing Indonesia with a wary eye. They had a well equipped Army and Whitlam had just been elected as PM. And we had just pulled out of Vietnam. And the Fetilin were considered communists (like the North Vietnamese) hence I believe Australia's lack of support for them.
I recall one military expert warning us, Indonesia could prove a threat to Australia one day? Timor is only about 70 miles, I believe from Australia's Northern coast line.
However, the film being set in East Timor was very well put together and edited. Considering it was on a strict budget, and the environment they were filming in is still a sensitive part of the world. Since the film was screened one Indonesian man has stepped forward to say he was there and executed the Bilabo five under orders (of course!) although his account has been refuted (of course!) by the 'powers that be' in Indonesia.
Now they have banned it seems to suggest they don't like it and I wonder why? Possibly because with the Muslim terrorists active in the area could drive them to more acts of violence against Australia.
However, cinematography, music and also the script certainly should commend it to serious film buffs. I found the accents of some of the East Timorese when speaking English, sometimes hard to understand, but that might be just me of course. I don't consider it a spoiler though.
I hope it gets nominated for the Academy Awards certainly Anthony's acting deserves some recognition. Well done all those East Timorese who stood in to take on their roles when those events and subsequent atrocities are still fresh in the older generation's minds.
I hired it on DVD by the way in Australia.