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THE DIPLOMAT

Australia, 2000 (MIFF 2000, Australian Showcase)

Director: Tom Zubrycki

The Diplomat follows East Timor's freedom fighter and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta in the final tumultuous year of a passionate campaign to secure independence for the country. Allowed extraordinary access to Horta's public and private life, award-winning filmmaker Tom Zubrycki (Billal [MIFF 1996]) has crafted a thought provoking account of an extraordinary man. Exiled shortly after East Timor's invasion by Indonesia in 1975, Horta exchanged his gun for the suit and tie of a diplomat. Travelling the world as a roving ambassador, he spent the next 24 years fighting to ensure the world did not forget East Timor's desire for freedom. His is a life driven not by personal political ambition but by the debt of blood he owes to fellow Timorese who have died in the conflict, including two of his own brothers and a sister. Horta emerges as a tenacious and beguiling character whose role was a crucial one that helped finalfy deliver his country its freedom.

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