Review: Beatriz's War
Filmed in East Timor with native actors, this film is a
re-telling of a 17th century French incident, best known to us
from the movie “The Return of Martin Guerre”.
This version of the story reenacts atrocities commited by
Indonesian soldiers in what became known as The Village
of Widows. Beatriz is one of the widows. Cohabiting with
soldiers from the occupying army is the only way some women
can stay alive. Beatriz turns the situation into a kind of positive by
telling the others that the only way to fight off the
Indonesians is to produce more men, that is to have as many
babies as they can by
whatever men they
can find so that they can raise guerrilla fighters.
The film continues this way through the 24 years of the Indonesian
occupation after which …
Collaborators and freedom fighters returning from the
Beatriz's husband returns. There are issues here that have to
be handled within age-old traditions. One of those issues
concerns whether the returned husband is the real thing.
“Beatriz's War” was co-directed and co-written by
Australians and East Timorese. It is a low budget film
produced within a nascent film industry. Don't expect polish.
Currently the only ways to see this film are on Youtube and with a
DVD available from the Australian company