Brain Pickings

Film Spotlight: BALIBO


The bleeding edge of journalism, or what 30 years of silence look like under the bright lights.

In 1975, as Indonesia prepares to invade the small nation of East Timor, five Australian journalists go missing. Four weeks later, a foreign correspondent by the name of Roger East arrives in the small country to investigate what happened. As political tensions intensify, he forms an unlikely friendship with the man who will soon be President, who grants him full access to the country in order to tell its story. But, for thirty years, the crimes remain covered and the story untold.

This summer, BALIBO, an ambitious political thriller from director Robert Connolly, starring Anthony LaPaglia and Oscar Isaac, brings the truth to light.

In this compelling Q&A on Australia’s ABC network, lead actor and executive producer Anthony LaPaglia delves into the deeper political context of the film and the relationship between fact and fiction in historical films.

BALIBO is based on Cover-up, a 2002 investigative novel by Jill Jolliffe who, working as a freelance correspondent for Reuters in 1975, witnessed the first incursions of Indonesian troops and reported the deaths of her five colleagues.

Thanks, Sarah

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