Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

New film Balibo shows promise at BIFF

If its reception at the Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) is any indication, new Australian political thriller Balibo is positioned to significantly impact local audiences.

The film won this year’s Interfaith and Fipresci Jury Awards, as well as the top position in the Showtime Audience Top 10 Feature Films, making it the most awarded movie at this year’s festival.

Directed by Robert Connolly, Balibo tells the story of five Australian-based journalists – known as the ‘Balibo five’ – who were killed when Indonesian troops invaded East Timor in 1975.

At its screening on the closing night of BIFF, audience members described the film as ‘hard-hitting’, ‘confronting’, ‘enlightening’ and ‘eye-opening’.

Film-goers Gary and Wendy Kerger, who live at the Brisbane suburb The Gap,  say seeing Balibo is a learning curve because it focuses on an incident in Australian history that “we’ve known about but never known the full story”.

They also say they will definitely be recommending the film to their friends.

Kate Vale, of Brisbane, who saw four films in the festival says she thinks it is appropriate for Balibo to close BIFF.

“It gives the audience quality time to think about the film because the mind is not occupied by other movies,” she said.

Balibo has a general release in cinemas today.

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