Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Between Two Worlds 2009

Ahasin Wetei

Directed by Vimukthi Jayasundara

This mesmerising, densely beautiful film from Sri Lanka takes us on a mysteriously symbolic journey with a young man who plunges to earth. “Like a freshly remembered dream.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian

France / Sri Lanka In English and Sinhalese with English subtitles
85 minutes CinemaScope

Director, Screenplay


Michel Klein
Philippe Avril


Channa Deshapriya


Gisèle Rapp-Meichler

Production designer

Lal Harendranath


Dana Farzanehpour
Franck Desmoulins
Roman Dymny


Lakshman Joseph de Saram


Thusitha Laknath (Rajith)
Kaushalya Fernando (Kanthi)
Huang Lu (the young Chinese girl)


Venice, Toronto, Pusan 2009; Rotterdam 2010


From the first breathtaking image of a man plunging into the sea from high in the heavens, the emblematic yet fiercely sensuous vision of Vimukthi Jayasundara (The Forsaken Land, NZIFF06) takes hold. Who is this man? Only a folk tale told by two fishermen provides tantalising clues. We follow him from a riot-torn city into mountain jungles where he courts his sister-in-law – and young men are hunted as prey. Research reveals that the story derives in large part from the Mahavamsa, a verse history of legendary early kings of Sri Lanka, such as Pandukhabaya, who survived all his evil uncles’ attempts to kill him off while still a boy. The film clearly evokes the ravages of civil war and seems to be probing a foundation myth that has apparently been co-opted by both Tamil and Sinhalese nationalists. However we do not need to know exactly what this mesmerising symbolic journey means to understand that adventurous Festival-goers might well want to take it. — BG

“It's clear from the outset of this brilliant film that Jayasundara is transforming himself into a compelling auteur, one who has the potential to become a master.” — Brannavan Gnanalingam, The Lumiere Reader.