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Guy Hamilton is a journalist on his first job as a foreign correspondent. His apparently humdrum assignment to Indonesia soon turns hot as President Sukarno electrifies the populace and frightens foreign powers. Guy soon is the hottest reporter on the story with the help of his photographer, half- Chinese dwarf Billy Kwan, who has gone native. Guy's affair with diplomat Jill Bryant also helps. Eventually Guy must face some major moral choices and the relationship between Billy and him reaches a crisis at the same time the politics of Indonesia does. Written by
Filming in Manila was halted after three weeks due to death threats to the production. Reportedly, these were directed to both actor Mel Gibson and director Peter Weir. The threats alleged that the film being made was intended to be anti-Islam. For the protection and safety of the cast and crew, the whole production moved to Sydney to complete principal photography. The move was costly and put a huge strain on the picture's art department. See more »
The song by Richard Strauss is incorrectly listed in the end credits. It's "Beim Schlafengehen" ("Going to Sleep"), not "September." "September" is another of the "Four Last Songs" from which this one is taken; lyrics to both are by Herman Hesse. See more »
[Despairing over a shift in Guy Hamilton's values]
Why can't you give yourself? Why can't you learn to love?
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Riveting and emotive political-drama set in Indonesia during Sukarno's fall
This excellent movie is set in 1965 Indonesia, when an Australian reporter named Gay Hamilton is assigned on his first work as a foreign journalist. His apparently simple mission to Yakarta soon turns hot when he interviews a rebel leader , while President Sukarno was toppling by pressure left from communists and right from military. Guy soon is the hottest reporter with the help of his photographer, a native, half- Chinese midget named Kwan . Eventually Hamilton must confront moral conflicts and the relationship between Billy and him reaches some problems connected with a British diplomatic attaché , at the same time the political upheaval takes place in coup détat.
Mel Gibson is good as correspondent covering a conflict and finding himself becoming personally involved when he befriends a free-lance photographer named Billy Kwan and falling for a beautiful Embassy assistant, a mesmerizing Sigourney Weaver .The movie has its touching moments found primarily in the superb supporting performances as Michael Murphy as lively journalist , Bill Kerr as veteran Colonel and of course diminutive Linda Hunt who steals the show as sensible photographer in her Academy Award-winning character, a woman acting a man, and well deservedly prized. Moving and intimate musical score though composed by synthesizer by Maurice Jarre. Atmospheric cinematography that adequate as a mood-piece by Russell Boyd.
The motion picture is stunningly directed by Australian director Peter Weir who achieved several hits (Witness, Gallipoli, The last wave) and some flop (Mosquito coast, The plumber). The movie belongs to sub-genre that abounded in the 80s about reporters around the world covering dangerous political conflicts , such as Nicaragua in ¨Under fire¨ by Robert Spottswoode with Nick Nolte , Gene Hackman and Joanna Cassidy, Salvador in ¨Salvador¨ by Oliver Stone with James Woods and James Belushi, and Libano in ¨Deadline¨ by Nathaliel Gutman with Christopher Walken and Hywel Bennett. These movies are very much in the vein of ¨The year of living dangerously ¨.
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