Rachel Ingalls, 6 October 1983
The Australian film-maker Peter Weir’s The Year of Living Dangerously is set in Djakarta shortly before the failed Communist coup of 1965. The story concerns three characters: Guy Hamilton, a half-Australian, half-American reporter working on his first big assignment for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Jill Bryant, English assistant to the British military attachè; and Billy Kwan, a dwarf-like photographer who is half-Australian, half-Chinese, and who takes secret photographs and keeps lengthy files on the other characters, especially the ones he cares about. The audience is actually introduced to Guy as Billy is typing up the dossier on him. Billy is like a stage-manager: he teams up with Guy, furthers his career by getting him an interview with the head of the Communist Party, and introduces him to Jill in the hope that the two will fall in love, which they do.