LFF: With You, Without You (Oba Nathuwa Oba Ekka)
Acclaimed Sri Lankan director Vithanage returns to the Festival with arguably his best work so far. Akin to The English Patient, it is set in the months after war and deftly explores the emotional fall-out of such trauma on the lives of ordinary people. Selvi is a beautiful but quiet Tamil refugee (powerfully played by Anjali Patil) who catches the eye of a middle-aged Buddhist pawnbroker when she comes to cash in her last jewellery. Immediately captivated, the pawnbroker follows her back to her temporary home. Discovering she is about to be wed for money to a very old man, he throws caution to the wind and offers to marry her instead. Selvi soon moves into his house and slowly falls in love with her saviour, but neither of them ever talk about their past; until an old army friend of the pawnbroker turns up, and a terrible secret emerges. Tightly scripted, with a wonderfully nuanced plot and haunting cinematography, this is Sri Lankan independent cinema at its best. (Cary Sawhney)
Dir. Prasanna Vithanage, Sri Lanka, India 2012, 90min.
Cast: Anjali Patil, Shyam Fernando, Wasantha Moragoda.
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