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|Directed by||Sherine Xavier|
|Produced by||The Social Architects|
|Screenplay by||Sheirne Xavier|
|Starring||Annapoorani, Harris Moosa, Shambhavi Madhan, Iffat Fatima, Ajith, Shalini, Afreen Kabir|
|Music by||Suren Vikhash|
|Edited by||B. Lenin|
The Social Architects
|Country||Sri Lanka, India|
|Language||Tamil, English and Sinhala|
Muttrupulliyaa tells the story of four individuals navigating their lives in post-war Sri Lanka. It speaks about their silent agony, unfulfilled desires and everyday struggles. Like so many others who have come before them, it tells the story of Tamils who have been stripped of their dignity and for whom justice and lasting peace remain illusory. This is the first film from inside Sri Lanka to tell the story of what happened after the end of the country’s civil war so devastatingly depicted in Channel 4’s Killing Fields documentaries.
The film is a true story about post war lives in Sri Lanka is told through a former-combatant living in Jaffna, the intellectual capital of Tamils; a historian living in the Vanni- where the last phase of the war took more than 100,000 lives; an environmental activist from Colombo-capital of Sri Lanka; and a young journalist from Chennai who travels to Sri Lanka to find herself.
The film allows a few to share their pain and suffering—the wounds that remain unhealed, the scars that are impossible to ignore and the hearts that still burn with pain, passion and grief—for the world to hear In essence this film is a gripping tale of loss, betrayal and struggle, but—above all else—it is a search for inspiration and a call for action.
The production team had to shoot undercover in Sri Lanka, hiding their real identities because of the risks involved in even tackling these issues. Despite this some of the team were arrested or had to go into hiding. Premiered at the Jaffna film festival.
Certification in India
The filming took place principally in Tamil Nadu, as well as parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka. This happened between May to October 2014. Post-production was completed in July 2015. Meanwhile, the producer, applied for certification of the film to the Chennai Regional Office of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) on the 12th of August 2015. The Examining Committee viewed the film on the 19th of August 2015 and decided to refer the film to the Revising Committee under rule 24(1) of the Cinematograph (Certification) rules.
The Revising Committee viewed the film on the 31st of August and, unfortunately, made some decisions that put the film team in disarray.
The decision states “The film revolves post war effects in Sri Lanka glorifying the bad effects, suppressing Tamils by Sri Lankan Army. The picture will affect the neighboring country relationship under section (xvi), 2(xii) and refers to the political leaders of Sri Lanka. The film is a one sided version of the Tamils. The film violates guidelines 2(xii), 2(xvi), 2(xviii) read with 3(i)”.
The producer appealed under Section 5C of the Cinematograph Act with the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal (FCAT) and the film was viewed by the FCAT Chairman S.K. Mahajan (RETD.), Ms. Bina Gupta and Mr. Shekhar Iyer. The Tribunal directed the CBFC to issue a certificate for screening of the film for public exhibition with the aforesaid modification on the 1st of February 2016.
The producer was represented by Counsel Mr. Satyajith Sarna and made the following submission:
The Revising Committee refused certification without giving any reasons and has made a broad statement about not complying with the guidelines framed under the Cinematograph Act. The Counsel argued that the guidelines laid out by the CBFC have to be read along with the article 19 of the Constitution of India and cannot be read in isolation. There should be direct connection between the expression of thought and danger to public interest associated with such expression in order to curb the freedom guaranteed under the constitution.
The Tribunal made the following observations:
The film is a story about the post war lives of Sri Lankan Tamils after the end of war in May 2009. The leading character of the film who is a young mother of three children was a former combatant and her agony and mourning has been depicted and it has been shown as to how the women were fighting to get answers about their displaced husbands. Though at places in the film, the photograph of the LTTE leader Prabaharan has been shown the film in particular has not shown any terrorist activity of the LTTE nor is there any scene of fight with the between LTTE and the Sri Lankan army. The film only depicts the lives of mainly the women and other persons after the war had ended in 2009. This in our view does not in any manner glorify either the LTTE or any terrorist activity nor is there any glorification of LTTE leader Prabaharan.
In case the film wound have glorified the suppression of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army and would have affected the relationship with the neighboring country, the Public Performance Board of Sir Lankan would not have approved the film for screening during the Jaffna International Cinema Festival.
After making the above observation the Tribunal directed the CBFC to issue a certificate with for screening of the film for public exhibition with the aforesaid modification (Please refer to the website to get more details about modification).
- "First Indigenous Feature Film On Tamils’ Current Plight Premiered At Jaffna". P K Balachandran. New Indian Express. 18 September 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "Art through the Lens of War: ‘Muttrupulliyaa…?’". Internationl Policy Digest. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
- "First Indigenous Feature Film On Tamils’ Current Plight Premiered At Jaffna". Asian Mirror. 19 September 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
Sri Lanka Brief, Ban Revoked: Sherine Xavier’s Film a PR Exercise for LTTE says Chennai Film Board, March 3, 2016
Ottran Cheithi, “முற்றுப்புள்ளியா?” ஈழ திரைப்படத்தின் தணிக்கையும், இன்னல்களும் பற்றிய பத்திரிக்கையாளர்கள் சந்திப்பு – காணொளி, May 24, 2016
Tamil Diaspora, Mutrupulliya Eelam Tamil Movie Press Meet on Film Certification Difficulties, May 30, 2016