Sulanga Enu Pinisa (The Forsaken Land) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sulanga Enu Pinisa (The Forsaken Land) Reviews

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½ September 7, 2009
Very impressive debut film. This might be the most beautifully shot film of recent years. Style is very reminiscent of Antonioni plus Tarkovsky. Narrative events are opaque and character are held at a great distance. It's an interesting portrayal of people living under uncertain circumstances. Aesthetically it's incredible even if there's something missing to call it great.
½ January 19, 2009
Way too boring. What the hell happened, anyways?
½ November 9, 2008
Little dialogue only adds to this film, and the cinematography is brilliant, as is character development. I do think you have to have an understanding of the Sri Lankan conflict to really be able to grasp the beauty and genius of this film.
September 14, 2008
Is there a Sri Lankan film industry? If it produced much else like "The Forsaken Land", I hope it gets a retrospective as thorough as the recent Romanian one. This is one for fans of Apichatpong and Iranian film. The director wisely keeps dialogue to a minimum and allows the landscapes and the characters' expressions speak for themselves.

Aside from stories of constant civil war and a couple of M.I.A. albums, I know very little about Sri Lanka. If this film is in anyway accurate (as I expect it is, given the government outrage), its a land of inexplicable contrasts. Serene forests are haunted by the remnants of war. Men can turn from protectors to vicitimizers at a moment's notice. This is one of the most promising debuts since 2004's "The Return". Although I'll be the first to admit that many of the details slipped through my fingers on first viewing, I'm very interested in making a return trip in the not-so-distant future.

Do make time to watch the 30 minute short film included on the New Yorker DVD. It's a documentary on Sri Lanka's walking wounded and despite being in rather sorry condition, is full of haunting imagery.
½ March 15, 2008
A l'image de la terrible guerre civile qui a ravage le Sri lanka durant de nombreuses annees, La terre abandonnee dresse un portrait sombre d'un pays, entre reve et legende, comme un appel au cesser le feu. On retrouve dans La terre abandonnee une sensibilite proche de celle a l'oeuvre dans Tropical Malady (2004) du realisateur Thailandais Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Les deux realisateurs donnent une image peu flatteuse de l'armee et s'attachent a montrer des corps libres voire sauvages. On retrouve aussi une reference aux contes et legendes que Apichatpong Weerasethakul utilise dans Tropical Malady a propos d'un homme qui peut etre transforme en creature sauvage, jonglant entre le reve et le conte tandis que Vimukhti Jayasundara utilise la legende de Petit oiseau. La maladie tropicale du realisateur Thailandais designe la folie d'amour a laquelle succombent les deux amants de Tropical malady tandis que les personnages de La Terre abandonnee semblent atteint d'une variante de la maladie tropicale qui les rend fou d'etre trop eloigne les uns des autres, prives de contact, d'amour et peut-etre de Dieux.
February 2, 2008
Jayasundera's film is disquieting; the violence is hidden behind forests where children watch magic tricks, fucking behind trees and tanks that creep along in the grass like insects seeking their remains. A heavy handed political ending is the only reason I would not give the film 5 stars.
Super Reviewer
½ December 12, 2007
Impressive images in this movie from Sri-Lanka that won best debut prize at Cannes. It shows the consequences of civil war. Not an easy movie though, the style reminds me much of the Neo-Realism films that Italian director Roberto Rosselini made in the '40s-'50s era. I saw this at the Cinema Novo Festival '06 in Brugge.
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