Circle of Silence


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Circle of Silence

From the producers of Beatriz's War

Year: 2022

Duration: 84 minutes

Genre: Documentary - Investigative

Classification: Check the classification

Writer: Shirley Shackleton & Luigi Acquisto

Producer: Stella Zammataro & Bety Reis

Director: Luigi Acquisto & Lurdes Pires

Circle of Silence is a powerful human drama, a cold case investigation and a politically explosive story. It is inspired by Shirley Shackleton’s Walkley Award winning book of the same name. It uncovers new evidence about the notorious 1975 murders of five Australian based journalists, the Balibó Five, killed in Portuguese Timor whilst reporting on Indonesian military incursions. Shirley’s husband, Greg Shackleton, a Channel 7 reporter, was one of the men murdered. Shirley’s life has been marked by a fierce determination to discover the truth about the deaths and why Australia did not protest over the murders and subsequent genocide in East Timor. She starts her own investigation following the decision by the Australian Federal Police to abandon its war crimes investigation into the Balibó Five murders due to ‘insufficient evidence’. Shirley disagrees with the decision and travels to Timor Leste and Indonesia to discover startling new evidence about the crime. Circle of Silence was completed in 2022 shortly before Shirley’s passing. An impact campaign accompanies the film and continues Shirley’s determined efforts to uncover the truth about the Balibó Five murders and Australia’s involvement in the cover-up and in the invasion of East Timor.