In The Name Of Buddha

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Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Shju, Lal, Sonia
Director: Rajesh Touchriver

Just as the Sri Lankans seemed to be coming to some sort of agreement – it seems the peace process has been stalled while the Tamil Tigers decide whether or not they will attend the next round of talks in Tokyo. Their reasons for not attending are not quite clear and the international community seems surprisingly eager to send a generous aid package to rebuild the island – not something to be sniffed at while the world’s attention has shifted to reconstruction attempts in Iraq and the Middle East. It’s clear that this film sets out to bring attention to the plight of the Tamils living mainly in the north of this beautiful island – once named the teardrop on the edge of India – and from the beginning there is no attempt to disguise the propaganda.

The British Asian producers deny any involvement from the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in the making of this film but even the human tale of young Siva, a Tamil, who steals aboard an aircraft to seek asylum in London fails to feel authentic. Back at home scenes of blood and gore, crying babies, screeching women and destitute pensioners is relentless. Subtle it is not. In fact it’s not clear who this film is aimed at. Powerful Tamils living outside India or Sri Lanka who can lobby western governments to act against the Sinhalese (Buddhist) Sri Lankan government? It’s hard to see why an international audience would want to see it.

There is a tale to tell about the terrible things that have happened to people living in Sri Lanka – but it isn’t this one.

1 out of 6 stars