Children Of The Crocodile

SBS • 2001

Cidalia Pires and Elizabeth Exposto were babies when their families fled East Timor in 1975 and came to Australia. Now in their mid-twenties, they’ve devoted their lives to the Timorese struggle - Cidalia through theatre performance and Elizabeth through work in human rights.

“Some say we must be Indonesian, some say Portuguese, but we are the children of Grandfather Crocodile. We are East Timorese.”
Cidalia Pires, refugee of 1975

‘Children of the Crocodile’ explores cultural identity, resistance and survival, through the intimate story of two young Timorese-Australian women.

Cidalia Pires and Elizabeth Exposto were babies when their families fled East Timor in 1975 and came to Australia. Now in their mid-twenties, they’ve devoted their lives to the Timorese struggle – Cidalia through theatre performance and Elizabeth through work in human rights.

Home movies, photos and personal accounts show their families’ escape, growing up Timorese in Melbourne, and why they care so deeply about their homeland. We discover Cid’s passion for music and dance, Elizabeth’s devotion to justice, and the strength of their community and culture.

Cid and Elizabeth live through two amazing years – from the joy of voting for freedom in August 1999, to rage at the destruction which follows, and into a time of renewed commitment and hope.

East Timor’s independence fulfils their lifetime dream, but it also brings hard choices. Should they go back to their country? How can they contribute? Where do their futures lie?

Convinced that East Timor needs its people “now more than ever”, Elizabeth buys a one-way ticket to Dili. Cidalia’s choice is more complex, but it also takes her on a short trip to Timor, to record traditional songs and dances. We share the joys and sorrows of their return, as they reunite with family and travel through their beautiful but shattered land.

‘Children of the Crocodile’ tells a story which is personal yet universal – about ideals, identity, and the strength of a culture which has given birth to the world’s newest nation.

Children Of The Crocodile extras – Short

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHvgYukP0aE

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