- 1 hr 51 min
Balibo is a political thriller movie from 2009 that is based on a true story. The movie depicts the 1975 Indonesia invasion of East Timor, which resulted in the unfortunate killings of five Australian journalists. The movie follows Roger East (Anthony Lapaglia), a seasoned reporter who travels to East Timor to report on the events unfolding there. Upon arriving, he learns about the missing journalists, known as the Balibo Five, and decides to investigate their disappearance.
As Roger starts digging into the story, he gets to know the journalists and their motivations for reporting. The movie then switches back and forth between the present and the past, showing the events that lead to the journalists' deaths through their eyes.
The Balibo Five were led by veteran journalist, Greg Shackleton (Damon Gameau), who was determined to report on the Indonesian invasion regardless of the risks involved. The group was aware of the danger they faced and took precautions to protect themselves, but they ultimately fell victim to the Indonesian military.
The scenes are intense and graphic, depicting the brutality of the Indonesian troops and the journalists' desperate attempt to escape. The movie is not for the faint of heart, but it showcases the harsh reality of war and the impact it has on innocent civilians and journalists risking their lives to report the truth.
The cinematography of the movie is stunning, with breathtaking views of Timor Leste's battered landscapes and the disheveled streets of Dili, the country's capital. The movie also highlights the socio-political context of East Timor, illustrating the tension between the country's independence movements and the Indonesian forces.
The performances of the actors in Balibo are one of the highlights of the movie. Anthony Lapaglia, who portrays Roger East, performs with a stoic determination to report the truth despite the danger facing him. Jane Hampson, Bea Viegas, and Christine Martins offer powerful performances as the Balibo Five, effortlessly conveying the characters' courage and desperation.
Overall, Balibo is a powerful, heart-wrenching, and captivating movie that provides a window into the events that took place in East Timor during the 1975 invasion. It is a tribute to the journalists who, despite facing insurmountable obstacles, continued to report the truth and bring the story to the world. It is a story about the cost of truth and the bravery of those willing to pay it.
Balibo is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 51 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0.