SCARS

Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, 2020 | 79 Minutes | A film by Agnieszka Zwiefka

During the civil war in Sri Lanka, Vetrichelvi was the propaganda radio voice of the Tamil Tigers. Filmmaker Agnieszka Zwiefka (THE QUEEN OF SILENCE) follows her on a road trip to find former comrades and discover what happened to them after war. But then a much darker truth unravels. SCARS brings us the never told before story of forcibly recruited female fighters and sheds a new and controversial light on the unresolved conflict in Sri Lanka.

  • SYNOPSIS

    Vetrichelvi was just 17 years old when she joined the terrorist organization of Tamil Tigers. During decades long civil war in Sri Lanka, she lost one arm and one eye, but also became known as a radical ideologist of the movement and a poet. Now she is determined to find her former comrades and write a book about the untold stories of the female fighters. In a country, where those who speak out very often disappear, Vetrichelvi‘s mission is a dangerous one and a game changer.

    Filmed over the course of 4 years, SCARS is a road movie through a postwar country still troubled by conflicts between the two nations and a journey into the past recreated by unique archives and cinematic reconstructions. It‘s a universal story of life after war, of wounds that don’t heal and scars that remain for generations to come. A story told from a female perspective.

    The film focuses on Vetrichelvi and her friends, showing the mechanisms that led these otherwise ordinary teenage girls (sometimes as young as 12) to join a terrorist organization and how it affected their lives. They have spent their whole adult life fighting and now, after the lost war, they have no job opportunities, are excluded from society and stigmatized. After meeting one of her former comrades – now with a completely destroyed face, unable to even speak properly – Vetrichelvi breaks down. Soon she starts an organization for handicapped women and tries to move on, forget about the past. But then a much darker truth unravels. SCARS brings us the never told before story of forcibly recruited female fighters and sheds a new and controversial light on the unresolved conflict in Sri Lanka. Is it possible to start a new life when you‘ve been part of an organization considered terrorist? And is Vetrichelvi ready to face the truth about her own role in the movement?

  • DIRECTOR

    Agnieszka Zwiefka is an award winning documentary film director. Her last film THE QUEEN OF SILENCE (2014) premiered at IDFA in the main competition and was screened at over 40 festivals worldwide, awarded over 20 times and coproduced by such TV stations as HBO Europe, ZDF/ARTE, SVT, YLE and RAI. Agnieszka Zwiefka also holds a PhD degree and works as a lecturer of documentary film at the Institute of Journalism and Social Communication at the University of Wroclaw. Member of European Film Academy and Polish Filmmakers Society. Alumna of Dok.Incubator, EsoDoc, ScripTeast and Berlinale Talents.

  • CREDITS

    Writer & Director
    Agnieszka Zwiefka

    Cinematography
    Kacper Czubak

    Editor
    Thomas Ernst

    Producer
    Stefan Kloos
    Michaela Pňačeková

    Co-Producer
    Agnieszka Zwiefka
    Iris Lammertsma

    Line Producer
    Bianca Laschalt

    Music
    Anselme Pau

    Sound
    Sebastian Löffler
    Kai Hesselbarth

    Sound Design
    Andreas Vorwerk

    Re-Recording Mixing
    Tobias Adam

    Production
    Kloos & Co. Ost

    Co-Production
    Chilli Productions, Poland
    Witfilm, The Netherlands

    World Sales
    Rise and Shine World Sales

  • SUPPORTED BY

    German-Polish Film Fund (PISF, MDM, MBB, FFA)
    Eurimages
    Catapult Film Fund
    Polish Film Institute

  • FESTIVALS

    World Premiere
    One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2020, Prague, Czech Republic

    Further Festivals
    Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2020, Poland
    Movies that Matter 2021, The Hague, The Netherlands

  • WATCH THE FILM

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