A Guerra da Beatriz, Timor-Leste and the Women's Film

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A Guerra da Beatriz (Beatriz's War) (2013) has been heralded as the first feature film to be produced by Timor-Leste, a country with one of the smallest film industries in the world. The film provides a fictional account of the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste over a 28- year period. It is told from the perspective of Beatriz and, against the background of actual historical events, follows her story through three decades of occupation and resistance. In placing a female protagonist at the centre of narrative events, the film declares an affinity with a history of international cinema that privileges female experience. This essay identifies a relationship between A Guerra da Beatriz and the women's film, a subcategory of classical Hollywood melodrama, in order to survey the productive intersection between the two. Building on this reading of female point of view, this paper explores the context of A Guerra da Beatriz's production and its address to the audience. Central to this address is not only the emphasis on female experience, but the way this is rendered against the backdrop of actual past events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Arts: a south-north journal of cultural and media studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • melodrama
  • narrative
  • women’s film
  • history
  • Timor-Leste

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