House of My Fathers

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Sri Lanka | 2018 | 95 minutes | Suba Sivakumaran

The tragic and bloody real-life ethnic conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils in Sri Lanka inspired this magical-realist fable, in which a man and a woman from antagonistic communities must meet to remove the curse that afflicts both sides.

"A poetic allegory on war and its consequences."—The Hollywood Reporter

This is a tale of two villages—one Tamil, one Sinhalese—who have been at war for a very long time. Unfortunately, the latest life-threatening problem for both villages is infertility. To seek a solution, the shamans decide that a Sinhala man and a Tamil woman, along with the "strange" doctor, must take a journey to find a cure for this dire situation. Some predict that only one will return. This is the basic plot of Suba Sivakumaran's political, poetic, and gorgeously shot dramatic feature debut. She mixes fantasy with horror in a film about love, betrayal, and coming to terms with the past. Sri Lanka suffered civil war for three decades, one that only ended in 2009; even though Sri Lanka is now a postwar nation, people still carry grievances and baggage. Taking two years to edit, Sivakumaran examines this baggage and exposes the consequences, carefully creating a cohesive yet surrealistic allegorical vision that represents the war's haunting residues. Even though the past is never dead, her characters are looking for the road to redemption.

Maryna Ajaja

Director Biography
Suba Sivakumaran is a self-taught director who was born in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Her undergraduate and graduate studies in political science and public policy led to eight years in the United Nations before her current day job at a private firm, working in international humanitarian aid and poverty reduction. Prior to her first feature-length film House of My Fathers, her short film I Too Have A Name was in competition at the 2012 Berlinale, and her second short L'oiseau bleu was shown out-of-competition at Director's Fortnight, Cannes 2018 as part of the anthology Tunisia Factory.

Sponsored by The Seattle Times, Sound Publishing Eastside, South Asia Center at UW

  • Original Language Title: Mouna kaandam
  • Director: Suba Sivakumaran
  • Principal Cast: Bimal Jayakodi, Pradeepa, Steve De La Zilwa, Dharshen Dharmaraj, Dasun Pathirana
  • Country: Sri Lanka, United Kingdom
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Producer: Suba Sivakumaran, Dominique Welinski
  • Screenplay: Suba Sivakumaran
  • Cinematographers: Kalinga Deshapriya
  • Editors: Nse Asuquo
  • Music: Forest Christenson
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Sinhala, Tamil and English
  • Format: DCP
  • International Sales: Asian Shadows Sales Ltd.