Archive of films The Terrorist / The Terrorist

India
1999, 95 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2002

Nineteen-year-old Malli is a member of a terrorist organisation fighting the government in the jungles of southern India. Together with other children she was trained for years as a suicide bomber, and her final act of defiance is approaching. The girl, resolved to become a “thinking bomb”, is given her last chance to take stock not only of her death, but also her life.


Synopsis

Nineteen-year-old Malli is a member of a terrorist organisation fighting the government in the jungles of southern India. Together with other children she was trained for years as a partisan fighter to face the enemy without the slightest trace of mercy. She has been planning her ultimate act of defiance – a suicide bombing – from the time her brother Ramu made a similar sacrifice ten years before. Malli is no newcomer to battle manoeuvres: she killed a “traitor” with her bare hands and has no doubt about her own resolve. She regards it an honour to be chosen to assassinate an important government official and without hesitation plans the details of the last phase of her preparations. During this time she stays in the house of the farmer Vasu who suspects nothing, and it is his attitude to the world and his devotion to his seriously ill wife which sow the first seeds of doubt in the girl’s soul. The day of the attack is approaching, however, and a decision must be made. Is Malli a mere weapon, an infallible “thinking bomb”, or could she become a human being with real feelings?

About the director

Santosh Sivan (b. 1961) acquired his film education at the famous Film and Television Institute of India which he completed in 1984. He then shared in a number of films by various Indian directors and debuted himself with the short film The Story of Tiblu (1988). In 1995 he made the film Halo, for which he won the Special Jury Prize at the Cairo International Festival of Children’s Films in 1997. His feature debut, The Terrorist, has won many festival awards and attracted international attention (e.g. actor John Malkovich was responsible for its screening in the United States). After the film The Terrorist, awarded at the Chicago IFF, he directed Asoka last year.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Another View
   
Director: Santosh Sivan
Screenplay: Santosh Sivan
Dir. of Photography: Santosh Sivan
Music: Rajamani
Editor: A. Sreekar Prasad
Producer: Jit Joshi, A. Sreekar Prasad, A. Sriram Abhijeeth
Production: Phaedra Cinema
Cast: Ayesha Dharker, K. Krishna, Sonu Sisupal, Vishwas, Anna Durai
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