Balibo five thriller brings star back home

Sydney Morning Herald.

September 28, 2007

ANTHONY LaPAGLIA will star in a film telling the story of the five newsmen who were shot dead in East Timor in 1975.

Balibo, written by David Williamson and director Robert Connolly, is described as a tense political thriller that re-creates the events surrounding the shootings during the Indonesian invasion. LaPaglia will play another Australian journalist, Roger East, who was shot dead in Dili while investigating the deaths.

After Balibo was funded by the Film Finance Corporation, the star of Without a Trace and Lantana said yesterday that he was looking forward to working in Australia again.

Connolly, who directed The Bank and Three Dollars, is hoping to film Balibo in East Timor and Australia early next year.

Connolly declined to say whether the film would show that Indonesian troops executed the five newsmen or whether they were accidentally killed in crossfire. Previous inquiries, reports and a UN investigation have been inconclusive. The findings of an inquest into the death of one of Balibo five, Brian Peters, are due in November.

Garry Maddox

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