about the film

For more than 25 years, the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers waged a fierce civil war over demands for a separate Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island. By the time the Tamil Tigers were defeated in May of 2009, over 70,000 people had died in the war.



Unholy Ground explores the impact of the war on one village on the eastern frontline of the conflict. On September 18, 1999, a group of Tamil Tigers entered the Sinhalese village of Gonagala and killed 54 people, including 12 children.  The attack came just days after the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed a Tamil village in the north, killing 22 people, including two children. 



The film focuses on the experiences of six survivors of the Gonagala massacre. It gives a human face to Sri Lanka's civil war, and explores the nature of war-related loss and the varied pathways that survivors have followed in coming to terms with the impact of the massacre on their lives.