East Timor: ‘The Age of Living Dangerously’

We should not be surprised at Australia’s collusion with Israel in the brutal colonisation of Palestine because, sadly outraged to say, Australia’s active complicity in the Indonesian and East Timor genocides and its silence on the killings in West Papua and PNG point up trade and profit as our country’s priorities and to hell with human rights and international law. Australia trained Indonesia’s infamous Kopassus special forces at Canungra, Gold Coast hinterland and Pearce air force base, W.A. Please support this important initiative by spreading the word and by providing financial assistance.


Dear Friends

Dili Film Works & FairTrade Films have started a crowd sourcing
campaign to fund a new documentary, The Age of Living Dangerously.
Many of you helped make history by generously supporting Beatriz’s
War, Timor-Leste’s first feature film. The Age of Living Dangerously
is a film that profoundly touches both Australia and Timor-Leste. In
1964 President Sukarno gave a speech declaring that the following year
would be ‘the year of living dangerously.’ In 1965 he was overthrown,
up to a million Indonesians killed, and Suharto started his three
decade long rule. The Australian Government celebrated Suharto’s
victory and his pro-West ‘New Order’. It was the start of a new era in
Australian and Indonesian foreign relations, not a year, but an age of
living dangerously; an age which saw genocides in Indonesia and East
Timor, and during which six Australian based journalists, the Balibó
Five and Roger East, were murdered.

The Age of Living Dangerously is the true story of the to Balibó Five,
told through a woman’s search for the truth about her husband’s murder
and the reasons why her country has covered up the crime for over
forty years. This powerful cold case investigation unearths new and
politically explosive facts as it follows Shirley Shackleton to
Balibó, Timor-Leste, to visit the border town where her husband was
murdered. Greg Shackleton was one of five Australian based journalists
killed in Portuguese Timor whilst reporting on Indonesian military
incursions into the small colony in 1975. Shirley has lived for
decades not knowing for certain how her husband died or who killed
him. She wants the doubts and nightmares to end so that she can live
the rest of her life in peace, a life marked by a fierce determination
to discover the truth about the deaths, and why Australia did not
protest over the killings. Shirley believes that the Australian
Government covered up the murders because it had colluded in the
invasion of Portuguese Timor to protect its trade interests with
Indonesia and to get hold of Timor’s oil. This collusion is a deep
betrayal of a people who helped Australia during its darkest hour. In
1942 three hundred Australian soldiers fought a brutal guerrilla war
that kept the Imperial Japanese Army pinned down. Everywhere else, the
Axis powers were advancing except in Timor. Timorese boys as young as
eight became the diggers’ eyes and ears, carrying weapons, and at
times sacrificing their lives for the Australians. In 1975 Australia
betrayed Timor by giving Indonesia the green light to invade the small
colony. The Australian Government could have stopped the invasion by
formally protesting about the journalists’ deaths. Instead it
colluded in a cover-up and ignored the immense historical debt owed to
Timor, a betrayal that led to the highest genocide per-capita in
modern history.

The film is reminiscent of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing and
The Look of Silence. However, The Age of Living Dangerously, unlike
Oppenheimer’s films is about the murder of Australian citizens, and,
in the case of East Timor, about genocide right on our doorstep. Until
the truth is told about who murdered the Balibó Five, why Timor was
sacrificed, and why our government officials were complicit in these
crimes, our very identity as a decent, fair nation, our very sense of
who we are as a people is damaged.

Your support in making this groundbreaking film would be greatly
valued. Please have a look at the following links to see the rewards
you receive if you become a fan club member or sponsor the film. For
more information about the film or to make a contribution please



Dili Film Works is considered Timor-Leste’s leading film & television
producer. It made the country’s first feature film, Beatriz’s War.

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