Current Date: 5 October, 2022
Mullaittivu Saga

Movies 4 d week : 1. Mullaittivu Saga (2009) | 2. Burning Memories (2008)

Review by Vinoo

Language : Tamil
Director : S Someetharan
1.‘Mullaittivu saga’ is a personal recount, by the Director Someetharan, of the incidents that preceded the planned genocide of Tamils, by the Srilankan Army, in Mullaittivu. It further goes on to tell us the state of affairs during, and after, the ethnic conflict. The human rights commission has been a mute witness thanks to countries like India and the US turning a blind eye to make sure the LTTE is finished off once and for all. India’s changing loyalties on the global arena played in no way a minor role in victory for the Srilankan Army. Gotabhaya Rajapaksha even had the audacity to say on BBC World News and get away with “There will be no inspection, no checks. There has been no human rights violation. Whether it is United Nations or any other country we are not / I am not allowing any investigation in this country. There is nothing wrong happening.

Take it from me. There will be no investigation”. This after gross disregard for the Geneva Convention, and the Chemical Weapons Convention, and use of chemical weapons in Vanni warfront. Even hospitals and No-fly zones were marked and then mercilessly bombarded killing thousands of civilians. Over three lakhs were almost left for dead, with two and a half lakhs still languishing in the open prisons / detention camps, the numbers is supposedly no less than 75,000 to this day, with thousands mysteriously disappearing. The film begins with a street performance of ‘Koothu’ which is an oral folk form that is part ritual and part performance. There is a faceless woman almost left for dead from the Srilankan bombing. She, like the Director, believes Kannagi*  will come back one day to fight for justice. The film details the genocide of Tamils in Mullaittivu, with LTTE being the excuse. The film is awfully short of footage, but that said I must say there has been very good use of whatever footage, photographs and interview material that has been available. A must watch for an insider’s viewpoint that no media bothered to cover in an unbiased manner, partly because of protocol and partly because of access denied by the Srilankan government. This was one genocide India and the US authorized by virtue of their inaction. As for the UN, they are nothing short of an US puppet, and by now a certified joke. It is a matter of time before the UN follows the League of Nations. *Kannagi, a legendary woman, who fought for justice, against the King, after her husband, Kovalan was wrongly accused and given the death penalty. She subsequently burnt down the city of Madurai to vent her anger. This is as narrated by poet Ilango Adigal in ‘Silappathikaram’. Courtesy : Wikipedia


2. ‘Burning memories’, another film directed by Someetharan, is about the burning of the Jaffna Public library that housed over 97,000 books and many ancient palm-leaf manuscripts. Not only was this a huge loss to the cultural heritage but this was to be one of the events that increased the rift between the Tamils and the Sinhalese. This one too is a political film, a statement. Two statements from the film that more or less sums up for me the film : “The restoration was as deliberate as the burning itself. The motive was the same : to make a psychological impact on the people”. And “You can wash, paint, do any amount of renovation. But we can never forget the original burning”. Someetharan is now in Chennai and is being keenly watched by the Srilankan Government. You can reach him at someeth13 (at) gmail (dot) com


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