The Forsaken Land Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: A plotless look at life in Sri Lanka.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. A stark, lyrical and affecting portrait of war's aftermath.
  2. 75
    Sparse of dialogue and plot (think Andrei Tarkovsky), the import - named best first film at Cannes 2005 - has to do with Sri Lanka's unending civil war and it's devastating effect on residents of a barren no man's land.
  3. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    There's poetry in The Forsaken Land -- not the written kind (there's barely any dialogue) -- but visual poetry replete with still, painterly compositions and finely nuanced lighting.
  4. Mr. Jayasundara studied film in France and has probably watched his share of classic European art cinema. Although his influences may originate closer to home (in interviews he has name dropped the venerated Sri Lankan auteur Lester James Peries), his use of landscape to convey states of mind suggests that he has more than a passing acquaintance with the work of Michelangelo Antonioni.
  5. 70
    Beautiful but withholding, The Forsaken Land doesn't offer much in the way of explanation -- the soundtrack features more birdcalls than dialogue -- but the 27-year-old filmmaker's command of film language is evident and his evocation of postwar trauma is haunting.
  6. 50
    Jayasundara dispenses with conventional story pacing to alternate long, static scenes with moments of revelatory lust or violence; as a press release states, the movie is "composed of uncanny set pieces portraying sex, death, and waiting," though its aesthetic achievement may lie in making all three feel like the same thing.