West Coast Premier
Jude Ratnam’s inventive and revealing documentary takes us back into Sri Lanka’s civil war, through his childhood memories and his family’s personal stories. Ratnam was 5 when civil war broke out in Sri Lanka, in 1983. On a red train, he fled the massacre of Tamils by the pro-Sinhalese majority in the northern parts of the country; now he reboards that train back up north, in order to confront the history that haunts him.
Traveling with his uncle, who fought in this decades-long upheaval (and now lives in Canada), Ratnam digs deep to unearth the traces of war hidden in the country’s psyche — reuniting with old friends, reliving past traumas, and discovering the legacy of the Tamil Tigers. The scars are deep: even now, Ratnam feels uneasy when his young son speaks Tamil in public places.
“[Ratnam] unveils the repressed memories of his compatriots, opening the door to a new era and making peace possible again… For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker living in Sri Lanka is seeing the Civil war from the inside.” – Cannes Film Festival