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SynopsisAcross the waters, the Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka arrive on the mainland India. There is an undending stream of people dispossessed of their lands and Gods with an uncertain future receding hopes of return. Dhanushkodi, the Indo-Sri Lankan border town, is the crucible wherein History is brewing this concoction of defeated lives and exhausted dreams. [*2011 NAWFF Award]
The Dead Sea deals with the conflict on the border area of India and Sri Lanka. An endless stream of the Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka crosses the sea and arrives on the Indian mainland. To an uncertain future with ever receding hopes of return, and an uneasy present where the support of the previous refugees is ambivalent, crowds of people continue to pour in, facing the world of pain, poverty, death, and violence. The film boasts of an impressive aesthetic, mixing fictional stories and an intense topic discussed in the documentary style with shocking scenes.
This is the first full-length feature film directed by Leena MANIMEKALAI, who has worked on 12 documentaries and experimental films. The narrator of The Dead Sea is a female documentarist who records the conflict on her camera. Through the gaze of the documentarist, who is the director’s own persona, the director questions the boundaries of the reality and representation, fiction and nonfiction in the unraveling of the shocking present. She also inquires about the way in which the camera should consider this violent reality. (HONG So-in)
Leena MANIMEKALAILeena MANIMEKALAI
Leena MANIMEKALAI is a filmmaker committed to social justice. Her debut fiction The Deadsea won her NAWFF Award and also was recognized with prestigious Indian Panorama selections after the initial ban by CBFC that got cleared through several months of legal battle. She has published five poetry collections and is producing her non-fiction feature I will not keep quiet that traces the lives and struggles of rape survivors across the Indian subcontinent.