What makes anyone want to blow themselves up for a cause? In this intimate and personal portrait we join two young female elite soldiers trained for the ultimate mission. We share their childhood experiences, their dreams and their families’ loss. Left behind are the mothers.
Dharsika and Puhalchudar belong to the last batch of the Black Tigers, and are now equipped for the last mission: strapping an American-made Claymore mine to their bodies, able to blow themselves and everything within 100 feet to pieces. We first meet them at an optimistic time: The peace talks are making progress, and the Black Tigers are officially decommissioned. The girls are serving as ordinary soldiers.
The girls have a close friendship. For seven years they have been eating, sleeping, training and fighting side by side. They can survive for weeks in the jungle without supplies. They don’t know exactly how many enemies they’ve killed in ordinary battle.
Their only source of information is what the guerilla allows them to know, and sincerely believe that their great leader would never order them to bomb civilians. The grisly images of the bombing of Columbos very own World Trade Center is a somber counterpoint to this.
Dharsika’s family is typical: the father died in the war. We meet her mother, who has been struggling to bring up her family in a war-torn society. She tells us that Dharsika stayed with the family just long enough to bury her father, then disappeared into the guerilla’s hands. She is proud of her daughter’s fight for their homeland.
This film ends with us and the mother hoping to meet Dharsika and Puhalchudar on Hero’s Day, the yearly pompous and grand celebration of every single tiger martyr. But we – and her mother – are unsuccessful. In the pessimistic mood of faltering peace talks the guerillas have decided to put them into active service again.
Alongside the wailing and grieving mothers clutching the graves of their loved and lost ones, she places her flowers on the grave of the unknown soldier and walks away.