Anyone hoping – like agitator John Pilger – for a searing exposé of the Aussie government's alleged complicity in the violent Indonesian takeover of East Timor in 1975 isn't going to find it here. 'Balibo' isn't out to point fingers or ruffle feathers, but to mourn the dead, in this case five young Australian journalists brutally murdered by Indonesian troops as they tried to cover the invasion from the front lines. It's yet another story of white folks in peril, the difference being that 'Balibo' acknowledges the fact, and plays on the dichotomy between third-world reality and Western audience expectation with wit and subtlety. It's all a tad worthy and manipulative, but there are a few powerfully honest moments here, many of them stemming from LaPaglia's powerhouse central performance.
Cast and crew