Screening from Ben Rhydding film maker who changed a nation

Film maker Peter Gordon

Film maker Peter Gordon

First published in News Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A film producer whose undercover documentary changed the course of a nation’s history will take part in a question-and-answer session when he presents an Ilkley screening of his film.

Ben Rhydding-based Peter A Gordon will present Bloodshot: The Dreams and Nightmares of East Timor, at Ilkley Playhouse on Sunday.

He filmed it in 2011, 20 years after his original documentary recorded a massacre of more than 250 people by Indonesian soldiers.

Mr Gordon led a Yorkshire Television camera team in East Timor in 1991, investigating Indonesia’s occupation of the country and its independence movement.

Their work put events in the fledgling south-east Asian country in the international spotlight after cameraman Max Stahl captured footage of the Santa Cruz cemetery massacre by Indonesian soldiers in the capital, Dili, in November 1991.

The documentary, Cold Blood: The Massacre of East Timor, aired on ITV in 1993 and went on to win numerous international awards.

The footage and testimonies of other journalists present caused outrage around the world. Indonesia eventually relinquished control in 1999, following a UN-sponsored agreement.

Mr Gordon returned to a more peaceful East Timor ten years later to film the new documentary, Bloodshot: The Dreams and Nightmares of East Timor, documenting the country and its people since the first documentary.

It was well received in East Timor and Australia. Now he plans to show it at Ilkley Playhouse, followed by an interview session.

The original documentary also had profound effects for those involved in the filming.

Stahl gained the status of a national hero in East Timor while researcher Kirsty Sword went on to marry former guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao and became his First Lady when he became the country’s first president in 2002.

The screening begins at 8pm. Tickets/concessions are £8/£6.

Call the Playhouse on (01943) 609539 between 9.30am and 11.30am or between 1pm and 3pm for details.

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