Updated: February 26, 2014 12:16:58 am
Twenty six years of civil war in Sri Lanka not only led to the ouster of the LTTE but also witnessed human rights violations. British documentary filmmaker Callum Macrae’s 93-minute feature film No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka (2013) which examines the final 138 days of the war, was recently refused a censor certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).
A letter issued to the filmmaker by the CBFC said it had “visuals of a disturbing nature”. Now the producers (Channel 4 and ITN Productions) have released the film online for free in Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India, available on the official web page. “Bans can backfire. Making the film available in the countries where it is banned will result in more people seeing it. It will also get people to ask why India is avoiding this truth,” says Macrae, on email.
The film had a private screening in Delhi and Mumbai in November last year. It was shot from September 2008 onwards, until the final days of the conflict. The film comprises indepth footage gathered through mobile phones, hand-held cameras from doctors, Sinhalese soldiers and visitors.
There are also few characters such as Vany, a British Tamil from the UK who is accidentally trapped in Sri Lanka and witnesses the medical treatment given to the injured, and two UN workers, who are the last to leave Sri Lanka. “We always hoped to make the film freely available once we had covered our costs. However, we have taken the decision much earlier,” says Macrae.
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