Subject: 'You don't see the bullets that get you' Max Stahl

Northern Territory News (Australia)

November 1, 2006 Wednesday

Bullets dodged for film


'You don't see the bullets that get you'

FILMMAKER and journalist Max Stahl, who filmed the 1991 Dili massacre in East Timor, is in Darwin premiering two new films tonight.

Stahl, who has been living in East Timor on and off since the early '90s, made the 1992 film In Cold Blood: The Massacre Of East Timor.

He said he came to Darwin with his partner to have a baby and would screen his new films while he was here.

Stahl said he had filmed many moments of extreme violence in Dili this year for Australian TV.

''I had a bullet through the roof of my car and through the back window,'' he said.

''It missed me by about a metre and missed my friend by about six inches.''

Stahl said he did not know if that was his closest shave in his time filming in East Timor. ''You don't see the bullets that get you, do you?'' he said.

Stahl said his new film, After the Victory, followed the registration process of veterans of the resistance movement, and the accompanying conflict about who was in and who was not.

''What I chose to do about it was to make a film about the resistance, starting with the guys with the guns and going right across to the youngest of the veterans,'' Stahl said.

''(The youngest) was three when he was interrogated by the Indonesians. This is very relevant to the situation now because this whole mess exploded around an issue, which I would say was principally an issue of pride.

''This film, by implication, explains why both sides have a case.

''It (will) give people a background as to why this would be an issue of such pride -- the issue of who is recognised as a veteran.''

Stahl's films, After the Victory and Timor Arises, are at the Museum and Art Gallery of the NT Theatrette today at 7pm. Tickets are $10/$5. Money raised will be shared between Stahl's archive and child education on Atauro Island.

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