Directed by Elaine Brière • 1997 • Canada • 56'
As Canadians we pride ourselves on our international reputation as peacekeeper and power broker. But there is a dark side to our foreign policy – a policy that encourages and subsidizes business and cultural ties with Indonesia, a country responsible for the deaths of more than 200,000 people on the tiny island of East Timor.
The brutal 1975 takeover of East Timor was immediately condemned by the United Nations, yet Canada abstained. Since then, Canada has stepped up its aid and business ties to Indonesia in spite of an international campaign to force Indonesia to withdraw its troops from East Timor.
This documentary tells the story of one people’s struggle for survival in a world dominated by the search for raw materials and new markets. It is the story of Canada’s shameless, ongoing support for a predatory regime. And it’s the story of Elaine Brière’s personal political journey from the villages of East Timor to the halls of the United Nations, from political innocence to political activism.