‘The Forsaken Land’ Tells the Tale of Sri Lanka’s Walking Wounded
By MANOHLA DARGIS (The New York Times)
Published: June 23, 2006
Some films offer up their mysteries openly; others, like the quietly affecting Sri Lankan film “The Forsaken Land,” keep their secrets close, revealing them gradually shot by shot, scene by scene. Directed and written by the young Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara, this fine first feature takes place on a desolate stretch of wind-swept coast far from the big city and much of anything else that might evoke the modern world. Here, amid the swaying palms and an occasional pool of blood, men and women drift through life as if they were ghosts, casualties of a civil war that hangs over them like a curse. Continue reading
Based on true incidents, this film revolves around three sories that unfold simultaneously. During two scorching August days, three different groups of people – thrown into the heat of the war – face different exoeriences due to circumstances beyond their control. They have to continue to exist in a society that is traumatized by nearly twenty years of war between the Sinhalese government forces, and the rebel movement from the Tamil community who are fighting for self-determination.
An eleven year old Muslim boy is struggling to keep his dog, while the family is uprooted by the rebels; a young woman, Chamari, is looking for her soldier husband who is missing in action, and a young soldier, Duminda, finds his sister among the working girls in a brothel. This film is about their quest for life…
“Ira Madiyama” or “August Sun” screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2004. Continue reading
A masterpiece of Sri Lankan cinema, “Suddilage Kathawa” or “A Woman in a Whirlpool” is the third film by Dharmasiri Bandaranayake. Swarna Mallawarachi plays the role of Suddi who is married to Romiel, a hired assassin played by Cyril Wickramage. Suddi’s life becomes complex when her husband ends up in prison and she is forced to have multiple affairs in order to support herself. Joe Abeywickrama plays the role of the village head whose brother-in-law is a shop owner played by Sommie Rathnayake. Observe how the lives of these characters are intricately nested around love, hate, deception, crime and murder. Witness the facets that greed takes in this exceptional feauture film, beautifully shot and portrayed by accomplished cinematographer Udaya Perera. Continue reading