The first Timorese feature film starts off with a cool refreshing scene of a fogged mountains and a rider on a pony, only to eventually unravel the raw overpowering intensity of the movie.
The movie is inspired by the true 16th century French story of Bertrande de Rols and her husband Martin Guerre. The story is an adaptation to the period of Indonesian occupation of East Timor. It is a passionate love story set during the time of Indonesian occupation of East Timor from 1975 to 1999, and the events that ensue. It is a story of a woman’s conviction to remain true to her husband and the country for which she fought for.
The film is packed with intense moments and dialogues that evoke deep sense of empathy for the sufferings of the many thousands that endured the hardships of war and the atrocities around it. The film is co-directed by Bety Reis – a 29 year old Timorese woman, who painstakingly captures the everyday suffering, anguish and emotions of Beatriz and the community she lives with. From a Timorese perspective, the story gives us a measure of sheer physical and mental strength that was required to survive and the will to continue to fight for freedom.
An extremely powerful film packed with Timorese culture, value systems, women’s role in a community and the war, and above all resilient patriotism.