House of My Fathers

Suba Sivakumaran

  • Tamil, Sinhale (with English subtitles); 95 min

House of My Fathers - Suba Sivakumaran

Sri Lanka, 2019, 95 min
  • Starring: Bimal Jayakodi, Pradeepa, Steve De La Zilwa, Dharshen Dharmaraj, Dasun Pathirana
  • Production: Palmyrah Talkies / International Sales: Asian Shadows

Barbed wire and keep-out signs separate two Sri Lankan villages that have been at war with one another forever. When both communities become completely sterile and there is fear for the continuity of their bloodlines, the village elders decide to make a sacrifice. Asoka, a veteran dogged by controversy, is sent out with Ahalya, a woman from the other village who has not spoken since losing her husband and son in the war. She is accompanied on their journey to an enchanted wood populated by victims of the war by Strange Doctor, a neutral outsider.

Asoka and Ahalya’s villages symbolise the Singhalese and Tamil ethnic groups, who have been fighting one another in Sri Lanka for 20 years. Their collective fears and traumas are submerged in magic-realist symbolism, but this film offers no reassuring happy end. Making this dark, poetic fairy tale closer to the truth than many documentaries.