Balibo (2009)

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War correspondent Roger East and the young Jose Ramos-Horta travel to East Timor to investigate the murders of the Balibo Five in 1975.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Hampson ...
Bea Viegas ...
Christine Martins ...
Juliana's Child
Ana Rosa Mendoça ...
Juliana's Child
Mazarela Martins ...
Juliana's Child
Nazário Baptista ...
Juliana's Child
Michael Stone ...
Jose Belo ...
Interviewer's Assistant
Anamaria Barreto ...
Young Juliana
Ken White
Roger East
Ella Watson-Russell ...
José Ramos-Horta
Tony Maniaty
Brian Peters (as Thomas Wright)


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. Written by Balibo Film Pty Ltd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


East Timor, 1975: Five Journalists Are Missing. One Man Searches For The Truth. One Man Fights For Justice.


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 August 2009 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Balibo - Mörkläggningen  »

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Did You Know?


Anthony La Paglia's tattoos, which are very visible at the bottom of his sleeves, are inconsistent with the era. Few people had tattoos then. Even fewer had such heavy tattoos. See more »


Roger East: No... No... I'm Australian.
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User Reviews

Historically inaccurate.
13 May 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This movie is historically inaccurate and over exaggerated. Some facts about the real historical events:

-The journalist Roger East was never cajoled out of his public service job by the young Fretilin foreign spokesman Jose Ramos Horta to work in East Timor, and nor did Ramos-Horta hand him an AUSTEO (Australian Eyes Only) dossier on the Balibo Five

-East and Ramos-Horta never trekked on foot to Balibo, and nor were they attacked by a US helicopter along the way.

-The Indonesians didn't attack up the hill in front of the Balibo fort, but from around the back of the village.

-The senior commander of the Balibo operation for the Indonesian army, Colonel Dading Kalbuadi, didn't put a pistol to the head of the journalist Brian Peters and shoot him dead. He was 10 km away at the time.

-East wasn't captured trying to send his last report from Dili's Marconi radio office.

-And it's unlikely that General Benny Murdani, the Indonesian army intelligence chief, was observing the executions of East and Timorese people on the Dili wharf on 8 December, dressed in a white safari suit, though he did parachute into Dili some time that day.

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