On the set of <I>Balibo</I>

With the announcement of a war crimes investigation into the killing of the "Balibo Five", a UNSW historian writes for Uniken about his involvement in the new film Balibo.

Balibo inside

With the announcement of a war crimes investigation into the killing of the "Balibo Five" in East Timor in 1975, a UNSW historian writes for Uniken about his involvement in the new film Balibo.

Some have suggested that the timing of the Australian Federal Police investigation may have been linked with the raised awareness of the killings of the five journalists by Indonesian troops following the release of the movie.

The film has had its share of headlines - with some commentators questioning its validity. Dr Clinton Fernandes from the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra, volunteered his time to work on the film as consulting historian.

Writing for the September-October issue of Uniken, Dr Fernandes addresses criticisms about the film's historical accuracy.

"There are differences between Balibo and the historical events it depicts, largely due to constraints specific to the medium of film. However, they do not compromise the historical claims made by the film - had that been the case, I would have walked," he writes.

"I am honoured that my pro-bono contribution to the Balibo film contributes in some way to the East Timorese and Indonesian activists' need for greater international awareness of the need for greater justice."

Dr Fernandes and ADFA's web designer Jeffrey Steinacker developed a website which is a historical companion to the film, containing a scene-by-scene analysis that addresses the question of historical accuracy along with other information.

Read the full piece on pages 14 and 15 of the September/October Uniken.