Demons in Paradise


Demons in Paradise
(France, Sri Lanka, 2017, 93 min)

De Jude Ratnam

Category: Journeys to Freedom

One World Festival

Sri Lanka 1983. A five-year-old boy on the train flees from the killing of the Tamil minority in the north. Three decades later, he embarks on the same journey as a film maker.

Do not speak Tamil or they will kill us, the film maker's mother has told him countless times. Later, like many survivors of the warfare that lasted a quarter century but attracted little media interest, she suffered a mental breakdown. However, the Tamil film maker's documentary does not place the crimes of the Sinhala Buddhist majority at the centre of the story; it is just as critical of the Tamil struggle for independence. Through the character of the director's uncle and other former anti-governmental rebels, he powerfully demonstrates how easily the struggle of a minority ethnicity for freedom can turn into its own defeat.