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.
Director(s): Robert Connolly
Production: Footprint Films
  13 wins & 22 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
111 min

Balibo (2009)

Mozerella! Naza!

This interview will be known as...



The subject is Juliana da Costa,

born in Dili,

and current resident of Maubisse.

Tetum, Mambai,

Portuguese and English speaker.


Four dependent children.

Thank you.


- Juliana,

- Yes.

most of today we've been

assembling information...

with regards to the events

of December the 7th, 1975,

and I note here

that you were in Dili on that day.




was there anyone in the crowd

that you can identify for us?


A man.


I understand.

Okay, here we are.


McGuire came by.

He wants you to meet him

at the Darwin Hotel for lunch.

- Alright.

- And there's a man here to meet you.

He's been waiting since

before we opened.

- Who, that bloke?

- Ah, yes.

- Who is he?

- Jos Ramos-Horta.

I think that's what he said.

Would you get me a glass of water

and some Aspro?

Tell him I'm busy.


Look at them.

Two pieces of sh*t

in matching shirts.

This is not the only thing

they have in common.

Those look very tasty.

I will steal two.

I will steal two of these.

I take one. I take one.

Okay, one.

Like my secretary told you,

I'm busy.

No, obviously I see you're very,

very busy.

But I...

I have come a long way

to find you, Roger East.


My name is Jos Ramos-Horta.

I am the East Timor Fretilin


Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

I have a proposition for you.


You look like you could use

a real feed.

Come on then.

So this is where

you plan to write your memoirs?


if I could remember any of them.

You know, Roger,

I have read much of your work.

Is that right?


yeah, yeah, yeah.

I particularly enjoyed your ah,

condemnations of Kissinger

and his kind.


Your coverage of the U.S. civil

rights movement was not too bad.

Very good.

From Johannesburg

you wrote about...

Rugby and cricket.

And apartheid.

You are well read.

I was in the navy

up until 1944.

Then they, um,

discharged me.


- You know what for?

- What?

- Psychotic tendencies.

- What?

You're going to kill me in my sleep.

No, you're safe.


Please allow me to...

to speak to you openly.


Fire away.


things you are writing now,

the work you do is bullshit.

You... you wrote with passion, huh?

With fire.

About important things

that matter to the world.

I am offering you,

on behalf of my government,

a position as the head

of our news agency.

The boss.

Full access to... to my country,

to my people, to tell our story.

- Run by the government.

- No. No, no, no.

ETNA, the East Timor News Agency,

is completely independent.

There is no such thing, my friend.


No, perhaps not,

but that is where you come in.

I don't come in anywhere.

Aye, Roger.

Roger, Roger, Roger.

My country...

has very, very little time.

Please, please

consider this simple proposition,

if only for tonight.

While Indonesia

denies any plans...

to claim this nation as its own,

the Fretilin government in Dili

believe otherwise.

Fretilin troops are preparing

to defend Balibo...

- from this 300 year old...

- No!

- Portuguese fort...

- No, Fernando, no!

With nearby seas rich with

oil and gas,

the question is,

how long will it be...

Okay, Roger.

Okay, I have to go.

This is Tony Maniaty for

ABC Television.

Thank you for your good company

and a place to spend the night.

Hey. Hey, hey. Wait a minute,

wait a minute. Hang on.

What's going on?

What's happening?

Look, there is only a

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Robert Connolly

Robert Connolly (born 1967) is a film director, producer and screenwriter based in Melbourne, Australia.Connolly is best known as the director and writer of the feature films Balibo, Three Dollars and The Bank, and the producer of the high-profile Australian films Romulus, My Father and The Boys. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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