Answered by Fire (2006)

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Released 18-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 169:56 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jessica Hobbs

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Damien Garvey
David Wenham
Toni Scanlan
Linda Cropper
Tara Morice
Isabelle Blais
Alex Tilman
Deobia Oparei
Sri Sacdprascuth
Nick Farnell
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Michel Corriveau

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    East Timor is one of our closest neighbours here in Australia and has had a very troubled history, particularly recently. In 1975, East Timor was taken over by Indonesia after being decolonised by Portugal which had controlled the country for many years. This was done with the support of the Australian and United States Governments of the time. Indonesia then installed a brutal and murderous regime over the local people which continued until 1999, which is where the made-for-television drama starts. During Indonesia's control of East Timor, estimates are that 200,000 local people were killed out of a total population of only 700,000.

    The story told in this two part drama is a fictionalised account which occurs during the time when East Timor regained its independence from Indonesia. In 1999, Indonesia agreed (under significant international pressure) to allow a referendum to be conducted amongst the people of East Timor with the choice of either becoming an autonomous region within Indonesia or a separate independent nation. The process was organised and run by the United Nations and involved getting the locals to register to vote and then conducting the vote itself. The result was that nearly 80% of the population voted for independence. This was despite significant violence and threats by the Indonesian Military and the local militias which they supported with money and arms. After the vote result was announced the Indonesian Military and militias proceeded to destroy all the infrastructure in the country and transported many people across the border into West Timor, which remains Indonesian controlled. During this period many independence activists were murdered and the UN group pulled out. It was not until the UN sent in a military force later in the year that the situation was brought under control.

    The actual plot of the drama involves a determined and brave Australian policeman, Mark Waldman (David Wenham), who volunteers with another policeman, Ron Nestovic (Damien Garvey) to be part of the multi-national UN group which goes to East Timor to organise the voting process. Mark becomes a regional commander and other staff are assigned to him, such as an idealistic and tough young Canadian policewoman, Julie Fortin (Isabelle Blais). They have a very difficult job considering the opposition to the voting process by the Indonesian Military and local militias as the UN officers are not armed. They use a number of local staff as drivers and interpreters such as a young man, Ismenio Soares (Alex Tilman), who quickly becomes a friend of the UN officers. Working for the UN immediately makes them targets for the military and militias. Ismenio is already a target as his father, Joao, is a leading independence activist. We follows the stories of these characters and how the events which unfold affect them and their families physically, mentally and emotionally.

    This is an excellent piece of television drama which we do not produce enough of. The story is compelling, tense, dramatic and unsettling. The production is excellent with the Gold Coast filling in surprisingly well for East Timor, excellent acting, scripting and direction. The music used is very good including the score by Michel Corriveau and local East Timorese songs and music. This show was an Australian/Canadian co-production and is being shown on ABC television starting Sunday 28 May 2006.

    Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was very good. The only real issue with this transfer is grain. There is light grain throughout which becomes heavier in dark scenes and occasionally descends into mild macro-blocking in backgrounds.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    There were no other noticeable artefacts.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read. They are in SBS yellow and are helpfully positioned on the same side of the screen as the person speaking. There are also burned-in subtitles for Portuguese & Indonesian.

    The layer change occurs between episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 256 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand except when accents made people hard to understand. Sometimes the subtitles were useful in this regard. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Michel Corriveau is very good adding feeling to the story and combining well with the East Timorese music used..

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use




    The menu included music, and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc is coded for all regions but only seems to be available locally.


    An excellent and thought provoking television mini-series based around the 1999 vote for independence in East Timor.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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