Documentary on Black Tigers premiered in Oslo

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 13:05 GMT]
For the first time the Tamil Tigers have allowed a foreign film team to "hand-pick, follow, interview and dig deep," into the lives and faiths of two female Black Tigers, according to the producers of a documentary film titled "My daughter the terrorist," which made its World Premiere to a full house at Parkteatret in the Norwegian capital Oslo Monday.

Beate Arnestad, the director of the 58 minutes long documentary film, follows two young, Catholic females, with the nom de guerre 'Dharsika' and 'Puhalchudar', who have been LTTE fighters since their teens and have become part of LTTE's elite force, the Black Tigers.

Ms. Arnestad and her crew follow the girls in their daily lives and preparations and gets free access to the all-female regiment of the LTTE during the documentary project.

"I believe that by letting the girls speak, getting to know their thoughts and dreams, we will get closer to understanding both this conflict, and 'terrorism' in general, a little better," Arnestad says in a news posting in the website of Snitt Film Production, the production company.

The documentary was made when the peace talks were making progress and the Black Tigers were serving as ordinary soldiers in the LTTE.

It also tracks the background of the girls through the mother of one of them.

Dharshika's mother, who has been struggling to bring up her family in the war-torn society, says that her daughter, the main character in the documentary, had wanted to become a nun when she was young.

In the meantime, her father was killed in an aerial strike by the Sri Lanka Air Force while he was on his way to work.

"When civil war permeates your childhood, it is impossible to escape. At 12, she disappears from her mother, falling into the hands of the guerrilla," describe the producers in film synopsis.

The documentary, described as an original source giving in-depth insight into the lives and thinking of female Black Tigers, also carries media footage of the attack on Katunayake Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) base in July 2001 where no civilians were killed and an earlier attack, in 1996, on Central Bank in Colombo and World Trade Centre in Colombo in 1997 where civilians were killed.

The jury of the Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord) in Norway, which identified the documentary as one of eight film projects qualified for production support in 2004, had selected the film with the view that it would serve as a platform for further debate.

Radio-Canada television, TV2 in Denmark, TV-2 in Norway, Dubai based TV channel Al-Arabiya, and Japanese satellite television NHK-BS1 have bought rights to broadcast the documentary.

Arnestad, with 25 years experience in media industry, has earlier documented the little known role of Norway in colonial India and Sri Lanka in her first documentary as a director in "Where the waves sing."

Director: Beate Arnestad
Producer/Co-Director: Morten Daae
Cinematographer: Frank Alvegg
Production Company: Snitt Film Production
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