Veteran documentary editor and producer Alex Meillier takes a turn in the director’s chair to tell the remarkable story of documentarian-turned-activist Kirsty Sword Gusmão. Beginning with only a simple curiosity in the islands to the north of her native Australia, she becomes a forceful advocate for the tiny nation of Timor-Leste and a lynchpin in its harrowing struggle for independence. Meillier turns Gusmão and her team’s firsthand footage of the revolution into an insider’s guide to the personalities and secret networks that kept it alive. Along the way, we meet the charismatic leader of the resistance, Xanana, whose relationship with Kirsty would redefine the cause for which they both were fighting.
Alias Ruby Blade is an engaging portrait of a revolution with deep resonance in the events of the Arab Spring. By focusing his film on the movement’s most unlikely member, who in turn becomes one of its most indispensible agents, Meillier gives a personal edge to the individual sacrifices and courage needed to create a new democracy in modern times.
Length: 78 minutes
Premiere: North American
Director: Alex Meillier
Screenwriter: Tanya Ager Meillier, Alex Meillier
Producer: Tanya Ager Meillier, Richard Keddie
Editor: Tanya Ager Meillier, Alex Meillier
Director of Photography: Shane Sigler
Executive Producer: Abigail E. Disney, Gini Reticker, Silvio Salom
Composer: Paul Brill
Cast: Kirsty Sword Gusmão, Xanana Gusmão, José Ramos-Horta
ALEX MEILLIER has traveled throughout Southeast Asia as a documentary filmmaker for the United Nations. With his wife Tanya Ager Meillier, he has produced short films for Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger and JFK50.org. Originally from Minneapolis, Meillier is a graduate of NYU and resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.