Shot between March and May 2002, "East-Timor, The Dream of the Crocodile" takes a different look at the former Portuguese colony.
Marks of the Indonesian occupation are still visible, but East-Timor celebrates its independence, achieved after so many years of struggle – deemed by many a lost cause, but won by the intelligence of the Maubere people and its leaders, using duplicity as a weapon.
As Mário Caeiro Alves puts it, "In the land of horses, we must act like a horse; otherwise we’ll get a backward kick". Or, in the words of Xanana Gusmão, "This war has been the art of living together with the enemy".
"East-Timor, The Dream of the Crocodile" is a documentary about the wisdom of one people, about rejoicing over victory and reflecting on future of the youngest nation in the world. Xanana Gusmão is the thread of this short version, although his voice is intertwined with the voices of other people, namely combatants of the Armed and Clandestine fronts, priests and bishops – even people viewed as enemy collaborators, but who were also relaying to the Resistance.
In the long version, the protagonists are the people – whose names will not be in the History manuals but deserve to be remembered. Like the story of a catechist who stubbornly continued to teach Portuguese, throughout the entire Indonesian occupation, or the family who let refugees use their home escaping from Liquiçá, following the massacre that had just taken place there.
In both versions, photography by Vasco Riobom and sound by Quintino Bastos pay tribute to the beauty of East-Timor, the youngest member-state of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Member Countries.