Wind blows sand over scattered shell casings, a man watches a spider crawl around his knit hands, army tanks roll through tall grass in the blue gray dawn—in this 2005 art film by Vimukthi Jayasundara, the cease-fire in Sri Lanka's 20-year civil war seems less like peace than like the apocalypse catching its breath. The central characters inhabiting this barren landscape are a reluctant soldier, his unfaithful wife, and her sister, all profoundly alienated from one another and the ravaged countryside. Jayasundara dispenses with conventional story pacing to alternate long, static scenes with moments of revelatory lust or violence; as a press release states, the movie is “composed of uncanny set pieces portraying sex, death, and waiting,” though its aesthetic achievement may lie in making all three feel like the same thing. In Sinhalese with subtitles. 108 min.
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