Summer films: The Courage for Peace

Members of the international media record an Australian patrol in Dili, 1999. (Stephen Dupont, P04315.052)

Members of the international media record an Australian patrol in Dili, 1999. (Stephen Dupont, P04315.052)

BAE Systems Theatre, free

11.30 am - 4.20pm, Saturday 29 February

This February, spend Saturday afternoons in the cool of the Memorial, viewing a diverse collection of films focusing on the personal and societal impacts of conflict and peacemaking. Closely connected to the Memorial’s exhibition The courage for peace, this year’s screenings highlight the courage shown by the Timorese as they sought independence, and by unarmed peacekeepers in East Timor and on Bougainville. The series also highlights the stories of individuals showing personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these inspiring films on the big screen.

All screenings are free and feature a short introduction by a peacekeeper, curator, or historian. Screenings start at 1.30pm, with the exception of the longer event which concludes the season, which starts at 11.30am. Please arrive early to guarantee a seat.

Please be aware these films are rated M, and viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over.  Children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the films.
 

The house where five journalists, Australians Greg Shackleton and Tony Stewart, Britons Malcolm Rennie and Brian Peters, and New Zealander Gary Cunningham, known as the Balibo Five, lived prior to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975.

Balibo (2009)

Saturday, 1 February, 1.30pm

Rated M, viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over

Dir: Robert Conolly (111min)

Our season kicks off with a fast-paced telling of the story of the Balibo Five. In 1975, freelance reporter Roger East travels to East Timor in the company of Jose Ramos-Horta to investigate the disappearance of five young journalists. A winner of multiple awards for acting, screenplay, and soundtrack, this engaging film is a devastating account of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor.

East Timorese children gather in a ruined building in a village.

Scenes from an occupation (1999)

Saturday, 8 February, 1.30pm

Rated M, viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over

Dir: Carmela Baranowska (67min)

This unflinching documentary captures the courage and determination of the East Timorese during the lead-up to and aftermath of the vote for independence, and includes footage taken inside the UN compound in Dili before its evacuation in September 1999. Independent filmmaker Carmela Baranowska worked alone and at great personal risk to document Timorese perspectives during the last six months of the Indonesian occupation of East Timor.

Operations Officer (OPSO) for the Monitoring Team Arawa (MT-A) Major Neil Schwebel patting a dog

Soldiers without guns (2019)

Saturday, 15 February, 1.30pm

Rated M, viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over

Dir: Will Watson (92mins)

Kiwi filmmaker Will Watson tells the story of New Zealand’s contribution to the resolution of ten years of civil war on the island of Bougainville. Amidst widespread scepticism, New Zealand Defence Force Brigadier Roger Mortlock decided that the peacekeepers under his command should be unarmed; taking hakas and guitars to Bougainville rather than guns. This powerful documentary features interviews with Bougainvillean peacemakers, rarely seen historical footage, and the sublime landscapes of Bougainville and New Zealand.

Local inhabitants crowd in the marketplace with their bicycles.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Saturday, 22 February, 1.30pm

Rated M, viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over

Dir: Terry George (121min)

Evoking the horror of the genocide that swept Rwanda in 1994, Hotel Rwanda depicts Paul Rusesabagina’s account of saving hundreds of lives by providing sanctuary to both Tutsi and Hutu in the luxury hotel he managed in Kigali. Released ten years after the genocide, the film was met with acclaim for its inspirational story of courage, and for raising questions about the lack of international intervention. Testimony has since emerged disputing Rusesabagina’s version of events, which adds to the questions posed by this film: what do we learn from dramatised versions of historical events? Can they inspire us, even when we know facts are disputed or rewritten?

East Timorese lined up alphabetically to vote at a polling station run by the United Nations

Answered by fire (2006)

Saturday, 29 February, 11:30am—4.15pm

Rated M, viewing is recommended for persons 15 years and over

Dir: Jessica Hobbs (190min)

Our series concludes with a special screening of the two-part television drama, Answered by fire, which is based on former peacekeeper David Savage’s book Dancing with the devil. Australian Federal Police officer Mark Waldman joins the UN mission overseeing the independence ballot in East Timor, but is unprepared for the campaign of intimidation and violence being waged on the Timorese people. After working closely with locals and international counterparts to ensure the vote takes place, Waldman is devastated when the UN evacuates, leaving the Timorese unprotected against the brutal response accompanying the pro-independence result. The second part of the series finds Waldman unable to remain in Australia. He returns to East Timor to find out what happened to the people the UN left behind, and to play his part in dealing with the consequences.

Join us at 11:30 am for Part 1 following an introduction by the Embassy of Timor-Leste and UNAMET participant Geoff Hazel. After an interval for lunch, rejoin us at 2.20 pm to hear from UNAMET participant David Savage and script-writer Katherine Thompson on the genesis of ‘Answered by Fire’. Part 2 of ‘Answered by Fire’ will follow. This event will conclude at 4.20 pm. Please note that lunch is not provided. Children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian for the duration of the screening.