A Guerra da Beatriz

A Guerra da Beatriz Screening for Xanana Gusmao

Bety and the Dili Film Works team were recently invited to the Gusmao residence to screen Beatriz’s War. Xanana was moved by the film and by the love story between Beatriz and Tomas, spanning 24 years, the length of the Indonesian occupation of his country. He pointed out that not all the historical facts were correct, but that the film is called Beatriz’s War. The story symbolizes the life women lived under occupation: their struggles, fears, loves, and strengths. Dramatic license is necessary to tell this story in a coherent way.

Xanana appears in the film in a stunning archive sequence showing his return to Timor after nine years in an Indonesian jail. The footage is electrifying, passionate, and gives voice to the emotion felt by the Timorese people in the months after winning independence. Xanana led the resistance for many years before he was captured, and continued in this role from his Jakarta prison cell.

The film also includes military actions which Xanana Gusmao organised against the Indonesian military. He initiated the events leading up to the 1983 Kraras massacre. Xanana was determined that the world know that the resistance was still alive, contrary to Indonesian propaganda, and organised a nation wide insurrection. Beatriz, the lead character in the film, played a major role in leading the uprising in Kraras.

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