Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
The trial of three men in the bombing of a Hilton Hotel in Sidney in 1978 serves as the general focus for this docudrama on the nature of prejudice and justice. After the hotel bombing, authorities suggested that non-Indian members of a Hindu sect called Ananda Marga (path of bliss) had done the deed -- which killed a few people, including a policeman, but did not harm any of the Commonwealth Nations' delegates at the hotel at the time. About a year later, a paid police informant accused three members of the evangelical Hindu sect of making a bomb to kill a right-wing politico. The police arrested the men, a trial ensued with much conflicting evidence, and the trio was acquitted because of a hung jury. As noted at the end of the movie, in a second trial six months later, the men were convicted and sentenced to long prison terms. Several noted Australian actors such as Tony Barry, Max Cullen, Chris Haywood, and Richard Moir) were cast as the attorneys, defendants, and detectives in this drama directed by Esben Storm. Years later, after many appeals, the fact that the whole trial was based on manufactured evidence and that the men were innocent came to light. They were chosen as scapegoats because of their participation in an unpopular religious sect.
history, justice, prejudice, terrorism