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Year: 2002
UK: Da'sai Films International
Cast: Shju, Lal, Sonia
Director: Rajesh Touchriver
Country: Sri Lanka
Language: Tamil (English subtitles)
UK: 146 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains frequent strong violence and war horror
UK Release Date: 16 May 2003


Based on a true story, IN THE NAME OF BUDDHA takes the audience to the scene of one of the worst genocides the world has witnessed at the end of the 20th century - Sri Lanka during the 1980s. The film recently won the Audience Award for Best Foreign Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival California 2003.

Two armed parties clash with each other's ethnicity and political ideals at the expense of the very people that live there. The freedom fighters struggle against the Lankan army, and the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) sent in to resolve the conflict arrive only to deliver even more brutal violence to the innocent.

Yet Buddha and Christ look on in silence.

Caught amidst the violence is Siva, an aspiring doctor, with his family and close friends, who become both witnesses and victims of kidnapping, murder and rape inflicted by the Lankan army and the IPKF. His ideals of peace and common sense and his growing turmoil of thirst for revenge torture his mind and his heart alike. He flees the country in the hope to start a safer life England. His story begins here, as he is telling it to an English Immigration Officer.

Taking nine years in its creative making, the producers K Shanmughathas and Sai George use writer/director Rajesh Touchriver's debut feature film to introduce the West to the tragedies taking place in what was turned from a prosperous island into a terror-zone.

IN THE NAME OF BUDDHA forces the viewer's mind to try and work out a solution to the conflict. The answer is complex, but the message is clear: Violence begets violence.

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