Producers of documentary on Women Tigers showcase new film
[TamilNet, Friday, 15 February 2008, 05:00 GMT]
Sabiha Sumar's "Dinner with the President: A Nation's Journey," which she made with her husband, political columnist Sachithanandam Sathananthan, is the story not only of an unusual and intimate dinner with Pervez Musharraf but chronicles a series of gatherings with the constituencies of modern Pakistan, reports Salt Lake Tribune, citing the showing of the documentary at Sundance festival, Utah held 17-27 January. Sri Lanka born Dr Sathananthan, currently in self-exile in India, and his Pakistani wife Sabiha Sumar, produced a 1996 documentary "Suicide Warriors" based on the lives of women cadre amongst the LTTE's women's brigade, some of whom belong to the elite Black Tigers.
In the couples' recent film project, Sumar visits with Pakistan's "triumvirate": the military, the mullahs, and the feudals, all of whom must somehow be woven into a democratic society by a president who is both dictator and would-be democrat, Salt Lake Tribune said.
"Suicide Warriors" was broadcast on Channel Four (UK) current affairs program Black Bag in 1996.
Filmmaker couple: Dr Sathananthan and Sabiha Sumar
The film was shot with the intimate participation of the women soldiers who allowed the couple to film them in their private moments – while eating, relaxing with friends and comrades and sleeping. The film looks beyond the de-humanized images of women warriors and invites the viewer to re-think clichéd images, Dr Sathananthan said.
In Sri Lanka, Dr Sathananthan was Secretary of the Action Group of Tamils in Colombo (AGOTIC) from 1993 to 1998. AGOTIC ceased operation after the assassination of a founder-member Kumar Ponnambalam in 2000.
"I have continued with my research and publications, and presented papers at several conferences and seminars. Simultaneously I have been engaged in film-making since 1993, producing several documentaries and one feature film," Dr Sathananthan told TamilNet.
"Since the signing of the CFA in 2001, AGOTIC has refrained from criticising this duplicitous exercise in "counter-insurgency" to neutralise the LTTE-led Tamil National Movement. Because, there was widespread hope among Tamils - both local and expatriate - that the "peace process" could yield dividends; and any criticism was seen as negative and not helpful to achieve "peace.""
"President Rajapakse has brutally dispersed that mist. Perhaps it is time to reactivate AGOTIC," Dr Sathananthan said.
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