"We never saw the film as being about a Western woman coming to save the Timorese – we wanted this film to be about different people coming together, united by a common purpose and motivated by moral conscience. If anything, this is a film about how ordinary people have the power to change the world and that message has power." - Alex Meillier, Nofilmschool.com
I am glad I didn't skip the movie. I thought it would be yet another academic documentary by some obscure journalist in search of fame after having failed by other means, but in fact it is a brilliant overview of the events that led to the independence of East Timor. And, for those who like me are allergic to love scenes, the love story is just one piece of the puzzle, really it's not a "romantic documentary".
Fine document of Timor freeing itself from Indonesia rule framed around a love story of an activist and a political prisoner instrumental in the end result. Gusmao, a longtime symbol of resistance, even when incarcerated was able to help lead his people to their eventual independence. Not a very revealing document that certainly skims the surface getting bogged down by the personal vs political.
A really fascinating woman and also a fascinating story - but the movie is highly problematic and a very poor example regarding the documentary genre: Some passages are designed like political propaganda material, and the use of sound and vacuous music is hardly bearable because often it's not necessary, neither for the narration nor for the mood.