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East Timor: Birth of a Nation - Rosa's Story (2002)

  Directed by: Luigi Acquisto
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rosa Martins
Links: East Timor: Birth of a Nation - Rosa's Story on the IMDb
Genre: Documentary
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Documentary 2002 (nominee)

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"An intimate snapshot of life" - a review by pearly

Rosa's Story is part 1 of a two-part series about the lives of East Timorese people (part 2 is Lu Olo's Story). Rosa is a widow with 6 children, 3 of which live with her, and the other 3 live in orphanages. The documentary follows her over a short period of time when she goes to visit her 3 children in faraway towns.

Rosa is a very well-spoken woman. She speaks about what her life is like, and there is footage of her everyday life (which mainly consists of her looking after her kids). The voice-over is done by Cate Blanchett, who speaks about the fact that Rosa has saved for 18 months in order to afford the bus fare to visit her children.

Rosa also discusses the changes in her country, from when the violence escalated and she was evacuated to Australia (at the time, she was pregnant) to now, when she says she feels a lot more safe. Her story is a sad one (most of the people in her life have died and she has been left pretty much alone), but it's amazing to see her resilience and her joy with the life she has. The story also highlights the way that people are shaped by their experiences; as Rosa pushes her children to go to school and do well, one of her sons doesn't see eye-to-eye with her and wags school often.

I really enjoyed Rosa's Story. It is quite a personal story, and the crew seem to have been able to get in and get some quite intimate footage, without seeming to get in the way. This is a great example of quality documentary film-making.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 18 Sep 2002

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