I was booked to attend Film Cymru’s Launch Pad to pitch the latest draft of my screenplay entitled Lies. but after two nights without sleep, thought better of it and went home.
Here’s the pitch that didn’t get pitched:
All I have is a voice……
to undo the folded lie.
W H Auden
Based on a true story.
A fiery, working class and uneducated woman takes on the three governments who lied to her, to find the truth:
Who killed her brother?
This story takes us on an emotional roll from the moment, when at the age of 14, Mo Peters throws her abusive mother out of the house thus sacrificing her education and teenage girlhood to bring up her three younger brothers and care for her Father.
Ordinarily Mo’s life would have been predictable, a menial job, marriage, family. But all that changed after a midnight phone call telling her that her closest brother Brian, was missing. He was a camera man on an assignment with an Australian TV news channel covering the covert and illegal invasion of East Timor by Indonesian military.
We sit on the edge of our seats waiting for news. Three weeks later Mo hears that he is dead, accidentally killed, with four colleagues.
With little support, Mo works through her grief with many unanswered questions going around in her mind. Was someone lying to her?
Why did it take so long to inform her of Brian’s death? Why was there no more information about how he died? Why were his remains taken to Jakarta for burial? . She sees for the first time, a copy of one page of a letter which Brian wrote the night before he died. Page two is missing. Where is it? Where is the original? Every attempt to find answers was met with silence.
Was there a cover up?
Twenty years later a refugee from East Timor tells her that Brian and his colleagues had been murdered. Mo then begins a journey to uncover the truth. She confronts a government minister, goes to a refugee camp in Lisbon, to Sydney Australia to help with a United Nations enquiry, to East Timor and the house where Brian was killed.
Helped by a foreign office civil servant who gave her classified documents, with whom she fell in love, and an Australian journalist, she builds a case strong enough to bring a charge of murder to be heard by an Australian coroner.After many adjournments and set backs it appeared she has lost and might be liable for costs of A$ 3 million.
At the last minute page two of Brian’s last letter comes to light. It contains vital evidence.. The charge of murder holds and the perpetrators are named.
Following the verdict in 2007, the Australian Federal began a war crimes investigation into the murders but in 2014 the investigation stalled. The killers today go free.