Sri Lankan civil war documentary in Cannes official selection

Jude Ratnam courts controversy at film festival with Demons in Paradise, which exposes violence perpetrated by both sides of conflict

Demons in Paradise, a documentary capturing the Sri Lankan civil war and its aftermath, was part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival last week.

Filmmaker Jude Ratnam, who fled the country as a child with his family during the war in 1983, is courting controversy by focusing his attention on the violence perpetrated by people on both sides of the war.

“By making this film I know that I will have to face harsh, perhaps even hateful criticism from both communities,” said Ratnam in an interview with the Asia Times. “The Sinhalese will claim that I am betraying my country by stirring up the past that is best forgotten. The Tamils will insist that I betrayed our cause by revealing the atrocities committed by the Tamil Tigers.”

Demons in Paradise was the result of 10 years' work by the filmmaker. You can read his interview in the lead-up to the screening here, and watch the trailer for the film below