Blu-ray of the Day: Balibo

Cast: Anthony LaPaglia, Oscar Isaac, Bea Viegas, Damon Gameau, Nathan Phillips.
Director: Robert Connolly.
Screenplay: Robert Connolly, David Williamson.
Score: Marcello De Francisci, Lisa Gerrard.
Cinematography: Tristan Milani.

The “Balibo Five” were the Australian TV journalists who were murdered for reporting Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor when the rest of the world didn’t want to know about it. Director Robert Connolly uses their fate to dramatise that of the East Timorians with a riveting, parallel narrative that seamlessly segues back and forth in time, as one flawed reporter’s investigation of his missing-in-action peers is juxtaposed with what happened to them. Connolly’s screenplay, which he wrote with David Williamson (Don’s Party, Emerald City, Brilliant Lives), wrings the tragic true-life scenario dry of suspense, sorrow and horror while the bloodshed is rooted in grim realism rather than Hollywood heroics. Balibo’s authenticity is reflected in extras that complement political and historical context with original reportage and behind-the-scenes insights into how the filmmakers so vividly and accurately recreated an era — and an appalling human rights violation sanctioned by the West.

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Extras: :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

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