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Yaalini

Yaalini, a Srilankan Tamil woman, is in a dark room seated opposite to an unknown woman who is asking her questions. Yaalini is concerned about her infant child and reckons that the army would abduct her child from her anytime. Yaalini and her husband, Panan, live in an isolated beach in Northeastern borders of Srilanka. Panan, a boatman, helps refugees coming to the beach, fleeing from the ethnic war, by taking them to India on his boat. One day, Yaalini encounters an army man in the isolated beach. But Panan and the refugees feel that she is hallucinating. Yaalini wants to leave the beach immediately as she is concerned about her baby. But Panan wants to stay back and help as many people as possible. Will she be able to save the baby? or was she in fact hallucinating about an army man stalking her? Panan thinks that it is safe enough for a small family on a beach and since he is the only one with a boat on the isolated coastal area, he wants to stay back and help as many refugees as possible. But Yaalini wants to leave the island as she believes that the army is closing in. But for this Yaalini has to make the unknown woman in the dark room to convince Panan, her husband, to change his mind. But the real problem is that Yaalini can't find her baby anywhere on the beach. She now has to find her lost baby.

Film notes

I have always been moved by the plights of refugees. The very thought that one leaves not only the place where they lived but also everything that gives them an identity is really heartbreaking. I wanted to show what they would have gone through caught up in an ethnic conflict in Srilanka. I do admit that due to the nature of the format, a short film, and also due to time constraints during production (we conceived and made the film in just 6 weeks), it might come across to some people that it shows only one perspective, which is atrocities by the army. Human history tells us that it has always been the case especially during war times, that innocent civilians invariably get caught up in the middle and lose their loved ones or even their lives. But my point is that we need to focus on rehabilitation, especially focus on their psychological health. Most of the refugees from Srilanka who have escaped from their war torn country split up in ethnic conflict, living now in refugee camps in India have been psychologically traumatized by horrible things that happened either to their loved ones or themselves. I thought that this might be a good theme for a short film.
srilankan tamil ethnic refugee rehabilitation camps

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Copyright

Copyright © 2010 Mystic Films

Previous screenings

2010
Columbia Gorge International Film Festival | 2010
18 Aug – 22 Aug | Washougal, United States
Brno16 International Competitive Festival of Short Fiction Films
13 Oct – 17 Oct | Brno, Czech Republic
FeSanCor: Chilean International Short Film Festival
18 Oct – 25 Oct | Santiago, Chile

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 14 Jun 2010