CHENNAI: Yet another film on the Sri Lankan conflict has been pulled off the screens in Chennai after two multiplexes that ran the film received threat calls from unidentified persons.
The screening of With You, Without You, a film on the post-war crisis in Sri Lanka narrated through the lives of a Sinhala-Tamil couple and directed by noted Lankan director Prasanna Vithanage, was stopped after just one show on Friday.
The caller warned that the theatres would be attacked if they screened the film. However, no prominent pro-Eelam group claimed responsibility for the threats.
“We will have to discontinue #WithYouWithoutYou in Chennai with immediate effect due to protests/threats from local Tamil associations,” tweeted Shiladitya Bora, who manages that segment of PVR’s screenings.
“It is sad and ironical that a film that is scathing in its criticism of the post-war situation in Lanka is facing protests from the same group which claims to represent the Tamils there,” said Rahul Roy, a well-known documentary filmmaker and co-producer of the film.
According to him, the director of the film was one of the consistent critics of the SL government. “We are planning to write to CM J Jayalalithaa seeking her help,” he added.
The film was completed in 2012, and has since been making the rounds at film festivals across the world. It was released at select theatres across the country, including two in Chennai.
Voicing her support, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai said on her Facebook page, “These people are the real threat to freedom of expression and are mere cultural vandals. It has become a ritual for them to attack every single attempt of films dealing with the Sri Lankan issue. ”