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Synopsis

'A brave and complex achievement. Racy and wryly reflective, one man's very moving version of history.' David Malouf In 1975, journalist Tony Maniaty flew to the Portuguese colony of East Timor looking for a war to film.  He found it at a dusty outpost called Balibo. Maniaty and his ABC News crew were shelled and five other television newsmen who followed were murdered by Indonesian troops.  Maniaty reported the Balibo Five story, faced death threats and fled before the Indonesian forces invaded.  The only foreign journalist left in the country was executed in cold blood.  The generation-long nightmare of the East Timorese had begun. In Shooting Balibo he teams up with the cast and crew of the feature film Balibo, retraces his days of danger, and dines with Jose Ramos-Horta as the independence fighter-turned-President recovers from an assassination attempt. But Maniaty's real purpose is to visit Balibo for the first time since 1975.  When he steps into the burned-out house where his colleagues were slaughtered thirty-three years ago, past and present collide before his eyes. 'A real coup. Maniaty shows how youthful bravado is fated to smash headlong into the anguish of the world.' Helen Garner 'An exquisitely drawn memoir of a time of tragic innocence.' Paul Ham, author of Vietnam: The Australian War 'As Maniaty's stories edge towards their harrowing climax, the book grips like a thriller and is impossible to put down.' Sunday Telegraph 'A fine book,with a tone and readability that is part Greek tragedy, part Boy's Own.' Weekend Australian   Sydney Writers Festival Shooting the Story Podcast

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