By MELISSA WELLHAM
The Indonesian occupation of East Timor is a period of political history still fresh in the minds of many Australians. The brutal and violent invasion, which lasted from 1976 well into the 90s, was a divisive issue in Australia – and indeed, the world over – for many years.
Alias Ruby Blade is a documentary that covers this period of history – but from a never-before-seen perspective.
This is not just a documentary about the tumultuous birth of a new nation. This is also a story of intrigue, revolution and romance.
At the heart of Alias Ruby Blade is Kirsty Sword, a young Australian activist who dreamed of being a documentary filmmaker – but instead became an underground operative for the Timorese resistance in Indonesia.
Code named ‘Ruby Blade’, Kirsty’s task was to act as a conduit of information between the resistance movement and international humanitarian groups, and the imprisoned, charismatic leader of the resistance: Kay Rala “Xanana” Gusmão.
As Xanana and Kirsty worked together to achieve the independence of the East Timorese people, they grew closer and closer – forging a deep bond despite their circumstances.
Through correspondence, they slowly fell in love.
Alias Ruby Blade follows their incredible story from the very beginning, to the triumph of East Timor’s freedom – demonstrating the power of individuals to change the entire course of history.