THE STOLEN CHILD, A NEW DOCUMENTARY FROM TIMOR-LESTE
Produced by Dili Film Works & CPLP, Watch it in Timor-Leste: RTTL, July 30, 7.00PM
THE STOLEN CHILD (A CRIANÇA ROUBADA) is a powerful, moving, and untold story that follows one of Timor-Leste’s stolen generation, ‘José ’ Abdul Rahman who was taken by the Indonesian military in 1979 when he was nine-years-old. This film tracks José ’s return to Timor Leste from Indonesia, with his wife and three young daughters, after thirty-eight years. José ’s Timorese family believed that the he had died and held a traditional ceremony that released his spirit. He is seen as a ghost who cannot take part in the human world. José is returning to Timor to go through another ceremony to make him whole again, alive again.
José is now a Muslim, as are his wife and three daughters. The film is a powerful example of how two worlds, Christian and Muslim, can accept each other and reconcile. It touches a global issue and is a lesson for the world. But it also has a special significance for the Timorese people and for producer Bety Reis. As a three year-old child she was taken by an Indonesian soldier. Her family searched frantically and were able to find her and she was rescued. But over 4000 other Timorese children were not. They were taken illegally to live in Indonesia. They were ‘stolen’ as were many of the country’s natural resources. Most are still missing, taken from their families by Indonesian soldiers, civilians, and government officials, including then Indonesian President Suharto. Bety is passionate about telling this story, ‘The story of other children who disappeared has haunted me for many years, and this film is an opportunity to tell one of those stories, the story of José ‘Abdul’ Rahman. José ’s journey has helped him heal, and it is our intention that this film also helps thousands of others who were taken or who have lost children to heal.’
This remarkable film is part of the scope of the Programa CPLP Audiovisual DOCTV II that Dili Film Works won and it will be screened in all nine member countries of CPLP (The Community of Portuguese Speaking Nations) including Brazil, Portugal, Angola and Mozambique. It has a potential audience of 300 million. Directed by Lurdes Pires & Luigi Acquisto. Produced by Stella Zammataro & Bety Reis. (Etan/Media One Timor)