We received invites from SC, one of the organizers at cine.sg to catch a local screening of the documentary ‘Passabe’. I caught last saturday’s screenings, while Wai Kay caught the sunday one.
What is ‘Passabe’?
“In the run-up to the vote for independence in 1999, the Timorese village of Passabe was a base for hundreds of pro-Indonesia militiamen – East Timorese who participated in a rampage of violence that climaxed in a bloody massacre. As families continue to grieve, questions remain unanswered. Who took part in the killings? Who is to blame? Shot over the course of a year, this film documents a quest for redemption and forgiveness.”
Documentaries aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But what interest me about Passabe, was that it was about a country and a process that I was unfamilar with. I realized that I had no clue where East Timor was, and until my brother kindly informed me, I had no clue that it was the youngest country yet to exist. We can’t know everything, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to enhance one’s general knowledge of the world.
When I was younger, my association with Africa was that of barren lands and starving kids due to the numerous ad campaigns to help their nation. When I met a Nigerian on one of my jobs, I realized I knew nothing about Nigeria, but yet was too ‘pai seh’ to ask, as I thought it would made me appear ignorant or possibly be an insult to him. On hindsight, having been an alien in a foreign land, when ever in doubt about another’s culture, just ask. Most will be more then willing to tell you about their country. Better that then pretending to know when you don’t.
As a result of ‘Passabe’, I now know more about the place then I formerly did, and that to me, is worth the watch alone. To find out more about this film and it’s screening time and places, visit the cine.sg website.