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My Daughter the Terrorist
A film by Beate Arnestad, Produced by Morten Daae
Norway/Sri Lanka, 2007, 58 minutes, Color, DVD, Tamil, Subtitled
Order No. W09934
This fascinating documentary is an exceedingly rare, inside look at an organization that most of the world has blacklisted as a terrorist group. Made by the first foreign film crew to be given access to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of Sri Lanka, the film offers important insights into the recently re-ignited conflict in Sri Lanka.

Twenty-four-year-olds Dharsika and Puhalchudar have been living and fighting side-by-side for seven years as part of LTTE’s elite force, the Black Tigers. Their story is told through cinema verité footage, newsreel footage, and interviews with the women and Dharsika’s mother. The women describe heartbreaking traumas they both experienced at the hands of the Sri Lankan army, which led them to join the guerrilla forces. As they discuss their readiness to become suicide bombers and their abiding loyalty to the unnamed “Leader” – who they are sure would never harm civilians – grisly images of past LTTE suicide bombings provide somber counterpoints. Their curiously flat affects raise the possibility that they have been brainwashed. This even-handed documentary sheds light on the reasons that the Tamil Tigers continue their bloody struggle for independence while questioning their tactics.


Message to Man Int’l FF,Best Feature-Length Doc
DOCNZ Int’l Doc FF,Special Mention

  • Bellingham Human Rights FF
  • Calgary Int'l FF
  • Seattle South Asian FF
  • Taasveer FF
  • NJ South Asian Cine Fest
  • United Nations Association FF
  • African American Women FF
  • MoMA Doc Fortnight
  • Engendered Transnational Arts & Human Rights Film Festival
  • South by Southwest FF
  • Tiburon Int'l FF
  • Festival dei Popoli, Italy
  • Ukrainian Int'l FF
  • Pärnu Int'l FF
  • Full Frame Film Doc FF
  • WATCH DOCS, Human Rights in Film IFF, Warsaw
  • Int'l Doc Encounter, Bogota
  • The Norwegian Short & Doc Festival
  • Taiwan Int'l Ethnographic FF
  • MadCat Woman FF, San Francisco

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    "Provides a rich insight into the women's ideology, reasoning, and sometimes plain, even charming, naiveté. The strength of the film’s aesthetic is in its adherence to the mental and psychological point of view of these young women.”
    Dorit Naaman
    Film Studies, Queens University

    “A timely look at life inside a guerrilla organization, and the way the world appears to a terrorist.”
    DOCNZ Int’l Documentary Film Festival

    "Takes political documentary filmmaking a step further."
    Susan Gerhard

    "Recommended, 3 Stars. A complex and disturbing film that provides significant insights into a tragic and seemingly endless civil war."
    Video Librarian

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    My Daughter the Terrorist is included in the following Special Collections.
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