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  • 4.0
1975 – With the eyes of the world distracted by the recent conclusion to the war in Vietnam, five Australian television correspondents go missing when the Indonesian Army crosses the border to occupy neighboring East Timor. Their last known location is a Christian mission near the village of Balibo. Back in Australia, veteran journalist Roger East hears the news of his colleagues' disappearance. Shocked by the general apathy towards the plight of his missing friends, he leaps at the chance to join the young idealistic East Timorese, José Ramos-Horta and head up the unofficial independent East Timor News Agency. It's a risky job, and Horta makes it clear that he can't guarantee Roger's safety. Arriving in East Timor, Roger is shocked by the destitution and the fear of the East Timorese population, and quickly discovers that his job is going to be harder than he ever expected. Striking up a strong relationship with the gutsy Horta, the two friends begin to follow the trail of the missing 'Balibo Five', and piece together the puzzle that might reveal their fate. But locating the journalists is only part of the struggle once the Indonesian military discover their presence and their intentions to report the horrors being perpetrated by them. Pursued by hostile helicopter gun-ships, Horta and Roger press on through the jungle towards Balibo, in fear of their lives, but in search of the truth. On reaching the missionary school, now inside Indonesian territory, they discover traces of the vanished journalists – cans of old film of reports meant for broadcast, but never seen by anyone before. These last testimonies of the brave journalists reveal their bloody and violent fate, and present Roger East with a choice – does he save his own skin, or stay to fight for justice. Punctuated throughout by archival newsreel footage taken by the actual 'Balibo Five', BALIBO is an original, intelligent and provocative film examining the true events of a horrific and violent invasion. From a creative team responsible for some of the best Australian films in recent years, BALIBO is a slickly-written thriller about the struggle for the truth.