No Fire Zone tells the story of the final awful months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war. A chilling expose of some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity of recent times - told through the extraordinary personal stories of a group of characters and through some of the most disturbing video evidence ever recorded.
No Fire Zone tells the story of the final months of the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war told by the people who lived through it and also through some of the most dramatic and disturbing video evidence ever recorded. Footage recorded by both the victims and perpetrators on mobile phones and small cameras during the final 138 days of hell which form the central narrative of the film. Footage which is nothing less than direct evidence of war crimes, summary execution, torture and sexual violence. This was supposed to be a war conducted in secret. The Government excluded the international press, forced the UN to leave the war zone and ruthlessly silenced the Sri Lankan media. While the world looked away in the first few months of 2009 around 40,000 to 70,000 civilians were massacred – mostly by Sri Lankan government shelling, though the Tamil Tigers also stand accused of war crimes. The film starts in September 2008. An air of deep foreboding hung over Kilinochchi– the de facto capital of the Tamil homelands of Northern Sri Lanka. The armed forces of the ultra-nationalist Sinhalese government of Sri Lanka were on the move, and the brutal secessionist army of the Tamil Tigers was on the retreat. Vany, a young British Tamil who was visiting relatives in Sri Lanka becomes trapped along with hundreds of thousands of other men, women and children, desperately fleeing the government onslaught. She had trained as a medical technician in the UK, now she found herself helping in a makeshift hospital while doctors tried to treat hundreds of desperately injured people. Other people who tell their stories include two of the last UN workers – Peter Mackay and Benjamin Dix. Inevitably too, this film is the personal story of some who didn’t make it. No Fire Zone also brings the story up to date. The repression and ethnic restructuring of the Tamil homelands in the north of Sri Lanka continues – journalists and government critics are still disappearing. The government will tolerate no opposition and have even turned on their own judiciary, impeaching the Chief Justice of the country when she found they had acted unconstitutionally.