Director: James Leong, Lynn Lee
“I have murdered someone.” A startling confession from an ordinary East Timorese farmer is the core of this fascinating film about justice, re-conciliation and forgiveness.
In the days following East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999, hundreds of pro-Indonesian militiamen embarked on an orgy of violence, killing almost one thousand villagers. Four years later, a UN-backed commission attempted to mend communities shattered by violence by providing a forum for villagers to own up to crimes committed during the chaos of 1999.
The village of Passabe was the site of one of the worst massacres of 1999 yet, at the Passabe hearings, tight-lipped former militiamen stand and admit to such petty crimes as stealing or property damage... until one farmer confesses to murder while serving with the militia. With the truth voiced, the villages are faced with the uneasy prospect of attempting reconciliation without justice.
Both a portrait of village life in nascent East Timor and an enquiry into the universal nature of reconciliation, Passabe is compel-ling viewing.
D James Leong, Lynn Lee P Lynn Lee WS re: think Entertainment
L Baiqueno, Tetum, Bahasa Indonesian, English w/English subtitles
James Leong was born in Hong Kong in 1971. Lynn Lee was born in Singapore in 1973. Passabe (2005) is their feature film directing debut.