Lankan film sheds light on scars of civil war

Sherine Xavier realised that if she told the truth, she would face the wrath of the Sri Lankan establishment. But the Jaffna-based activist-filmmaker never looked back and gradually cleared the hurdles placed in her path to release her 105-minute-long movie 'Muttruppulliyaa' (Is it the full stop?) which evoked a tremendous response when it was screened for the first time in India at the Prasad Lab in the city recently.

Based on true incidents, 'Muttruppulliyaa' tells the story of a former Tamil Tiger rebel who struggles to bring up her three young children after the end of the war in May 2009 while searching for her husband who was captured by the Sri Lankan army.

The main protagonist's agony has been depicted in searing detail in the film which exposes the plight of the hundreds of women in the country who are struggling to establish the whereabouts of their husbands who disappeared. The Tamil film, with English subtitles, blends real footage from the war with recreated scenes and is interspersed with songs.

The shooting took place mostly in Tamil Nadu, as well as parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka, between July and October 2014. The post-production was completed in July 2015.

Even after Sherine successfully shot the film, she faced hurdles in the form of censorship. Now, the censorship blues are finally over, and Sherine wants to release the movie in the state.

"It's the story of the Tamils, so I want the movie to be released in Tamil Nadu. I hope that a distributor who understands the cultural significance of the movie will come forward," said Sherine, who was in the city for the screening.

Sherine says that her movie is a mirror to the war-torn region of Sri Lanka, where residents still face challenges and adversities.

"I wanted to tell the truth. And I was very particular that I should never take artificial shortcuts to narrate the course of events. So I used mostly natural sets to convey the trauma of the people who live in Sri Lanka," she said, adding that she wanted to show the outside world that the scars of the war still remain unhealed.

- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com -

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