Sri Lanka 1983, Jude Ratnam is five years old. On a red train, he flees the massacre of the Tamils instigated by the Pro-Sinhalese majoritarian government. Now a filmmaker, he takes the same train from South to North.
As he advances, the traces of the violence of the 26-year-old war and the one which turned the Tamil’s fight for freedom into a self-destructive terrorism pass before his eyes.
Reminiscing the hidden souvenirs of fighters and Tamil Tigers, he unveils the repressed memories of his compatriots, opening the door to a new era and making peace possible again.
Demons in Paradise is the result of ten years of work. For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker living in Sri Lanka is seeing the Civil war from the inside.
Jude Ratnam worked for NGO before becoming a filmmaker. He obtained a degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Kamaraj in southern India, before studying cinema at the School of Media Art and Managment in Sri Lanka.
In 2006, he left his post at the NGO, no longer able to bear the hypocrisy of a job consisting in preaching reconciliation while civil war still raged, and the country was violently divided and impoverished. He spent months thinking about how to reach the greatest number of people in an intimate yet political way. How could he tap intothe emotions as well as the minds of his compatriots? His love for cinema suddenly made it seem obvious: He had to make films. It was this intuition that gave him the courage to commit to a project for 10 years, despite the risks involved. He trained and had the backing of a French team (his co-writer Isabelle Marina introduced him to the producer Julie Paratian), along with some Tamil and Sinhalese partners, since his aim was to put into practice…