Elmer Dyrøy lives in Oslo, but when January arrives, he becomes restless. He takes his backpack and travels to the island on the west coast where he grew up－and island without other people, without roads or a wharf. A portrait of a person with a different lifestyle.
Alfred Melotu is a Big Man and Paramouth Chief among the Melanesians in the Reef Islands group off, the Solomon Islands. In 1994 a film crew visited Alfred in order to plan a future film. Unfortunately, on the return in 1996 Alfred was on his deathbed suffering from mouth cancer. Nevertheless, he was still a Big Man. Alfred consequently allowed the film crew to record his deathbed and funeral in order to be remembered for the future. However, the film was also to be used as a documentation for his family order to further secure his land and possessions from other Big Men.
Like many Sri Lankan families, Dharsika’s father died in the war. She stayed with the family just long enough to bury her father, then disappeared into the guerilla’s hands.
Dharsika and Puhalchudar have a close friendship. For seven years they have been eating, sleeping, training and fighting side by side. They belong to the last batch of the Black Tigers, and they don’t know exactly how many enemies they’ve killed in ordinary battles. Now they are equipped for the last mission: strapping claymore mine to their bodies, able to blow themselves and everything within 100 feet into pieces. They believe that their great leader would never order them to bomb civilians. The grisly images of the bombing of Colombo’s very own World Trade Center is a somber counterpoint to this.
Alongside the wailing mothers clutching the graves of their lost ones, Dharsika’s mother places her flowers on the grave of an unknown soldier, and walks away.