My Daughter the Terrorist [Documentary]

Posted on April 15, 2008

Perhaps a little heavy for a 10 AM screening, with an occasional missing head and dead body, I still enjoyed My Daughter the Terrorist. It’s about the civil war in Sri-Lanka – a war I didn’t know was happening. Labeled by the world as terrorists, the film follows two female best friends in the guerrilla Tamil Tigers group, along with the affects their fighting leaves on one of their mothers.

While they have been together every day for the past seven years, each would kill the other if ordered to. Yet, if one of them was selected in the random lottery to perform a suicide mission, the other would beg to go in their place.

The film was beautifully shot, and the access director Beate Arnestad had in this guerrilla camp was amazing. Sri-Lanka is one of the most dangerous places for journalists. In the Q&A, she said she filmed during a cease-fire. The Tamil Tigers were hoping for a peaceful negotiation with Sri-Lanka and therefore wanted to start opening themselves up to the world, but that didn’t happen. She cannot go back to follow up, and does not know what has happened to the two girls.

Q&As also bring lively comments. When one man started his comment by saying he was from Sri-Lanka, I was expecting bashing for how she covered the situation. But instead he praised her portrayal of the Black Tigers and the civil war as accurate. The bashing didn’t come until the following comment, when another Sri-Lankan called her a disgrace.

Only one part of the film was confusing for me. All the soldiers shown were women, so does the Tamil Tigers only recruit women, and if so why, or was this just one female squad out of many men and women squads? But that’s just one minor detail that shouldn’t stop you from seeing this film, if only for the amazing access into a guerrilla warfare group.

This is just one of the films I saw the the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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