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Tales of Crocodiles

Short documentary, 2003, 50 min.

Between 1974 and 1999, the population of East-Timor suffered severely by the Indonesian occupation. The oppression went hand in hand with extreme violence, which killed one third of the East-Timorese people. One of the biggest massacres was perpetrated after the referendum in August 1999 in Suai, where women were raped and kidnapped and men were chopped to death and fed to crocodiles. Filmmaker Jan van den Berg travelled to East-Timor and, among destroyed buildings that are silent witnesses, spoke with people involved. Not just with victims and witnesses, but also with offenders, who confess their atrocities before the truth commissions that have been established after the South-African example. The commissions not only try to determine the truth, but also strive to reconcile the perpetrators and their victims. The extensive religious and animistic ceremonials, however, are unable to dispel all rancour and fear of reprisals.





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