“VALIPUNAM, Sri Lanka, Jul 7 2014 (IPS) – The village of Valipunam, 322 km north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, occupies one of the remotest corners of the country’s former war zone. The dirt roads are impossible to navigate, there are no street lights, telephone connections are patchy and the nearest police post is miles away, closer to the centre of the battle-scarred Mullaitivu district.”
“When Sri Lanka’s bitter civil war came to an end in May of 2009 it drew to a close an era crippled with fear and drenched in blood. No independent journalists were given access to the frontlines during its final stages and while propaganda and misinformation filled the void, the reality on the ground went unrecorded and the war itself went un-witnessed.
That was until three student journalists ventured into Sri Lanka from the UK. Their naivety afforded them access to areas denied to journalists from the BBC or CNN and went further than any had gone before them. They captured everything they saw on 30 hours of DV tapes, audio recordings and over 4,000 photographs.
They were given exclusive access to the IDP Camps of Menik Farm — then the most infamous IDP camps in the world at the time — and walked through the ruins of Kilinochchi — the former Tamil Tiger capital. By the end of their journey they also became the first foreign journalists to witness the aftermath of the final battlegrounds in Mullaitivu and Chalai.
The film is a snapshot of a country at a crossroads, amid diverging narratives in the wake of war. They witness the loss of human dignity for those caught up in the conflict and provide a searing assessment of war reportage at a time when propaganda blurs the line of fact and fiction. This is a story told from their eyes about a journey through a conflict that is in very real danger of being forgotten forever.”