Today we saw a movie titled ‘LANKA-the other side of war and peace’. It was based on the Sri Lankan conflict and tried to look at the ‘collateral damage’ that so many years of violence had left on the people.
Directed by Iffat Fatima, the handout given to us described it as ‘The film is an act of recalling and remembering the brutal and tragic consequences of the use of violence, and its legitimization for perpetuation of power. Witnessed most poignantly, as those who have suffered through this violence narrate their stories of loss, displacement and survival, giving _expression to the larger narrative of war and peace.’
The movie was an interesting watch as hampered by the language barrier; one could do nothing but watch. The director did not add any voice-over as she wanted the visuals to tell the story. In that respect, the film delivered.
The film was started in 2002 when the A9 highway that linked the war-torn North and South was opened for civilians. Her interest in doing the film blossomed after she lived in the country for 5 years. It took her about three years to finish the film. What was interesting to find out was that one of our classmates had helped in the making of the documentary. A Sri Lankan, she helped in translations as the film crew traversed the country taking interviews of families who have lost livelihoods and members to the violence.
The movie was an eye-opener as being safe in my apartment in Mumbai the situation was alien to me. I particularly liked the raw footage and the story it told. Visions of families who have learnt to deal with children, husbands dying, disappearing helped move the narrative forward.
All in all an interesting experience. If only most classes on international issues were dealt with in this way. A lot more learning and a lot less sleeping would occur.
Copyright Rohini Joseph