Mouna Kaandam / Nomiyana Mathakaya
Thursday, 03.10., 9.15 pm, kommkino
Saturday, 05.10., 5.00 pm, kommkino, Q&A with Pradeepa (actress)
Two Sri Lankan villages – one Tamil, one Sinhala – have been at war with each other for decades. When, on both sides, villagers become infertile, they receive a message from the gods. A Sinhala man and a Tamil woman are to be sent to an isolated place where they will find the secret to renew life. But only one of them will return. In the Forest of the Dead, Asoka and Ahalya will have to confront the secrets of their villages and their personal pasts.
Suba Sivakumaran’s feature-length debut is a fascinating and compressed allegory of war. The self-taught director is astonishingly self-confident in the way that she pairs claustrophobic and intense 4:3 images with a tight sound mix and excellent editing. There is no room for exotic and touristy wide shots of the jungle. In the style of magical realism, wonderful pictures of people’s inner states stand side by side with objective reality, depicting trauma and the consequences of violence and war.
Suba Sivakumaran is a self-taught director who was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Her undergraduate and graduate studies in political science and public policy led to eight years at the United Nations. Afterwards Sivakumaran switched to her current day job at a private firm, working in international humanitarian aid and poverty reduction. Prior to her first feature-length film House of My Fathers, her short film I Too Have A Name was in competition at the 2012 Berlinale, and her second short L'oiseau bleu was shown out-of-competition at Director's Fortnight, Cannes in 2018 as part of the anthology Tunisia Factory.