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Hide and Seek & Darkness at Dawn

25th June 2004

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Darkness at Dawn - Young boy playing the fluteWe're showing two films - 'Hide and Seek' and 'Darkness at Dawn', which highlight the aftereffects of the civil war in Sri Lanka.

Hide and Seek is a dramatised film which shows how years of civil war between Tamil and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka has left a legacy of distrust bridged only by the innocent view of a child.

A young Sinhalese girl befriends an injured Tamil boy who has escaped from the nearby Bindunuwewa rehabilitation camp and was hiding in her garden shed. The young girl is concerned that he is hurt but isn’t aware of the circumstances in which he was injured.

The girl’s father, who regards the camp inmates as ‘terrorists’, returns home with a companion, slipping into the house furtively. They’re carrying weapons and panicking about whether they were seen by anyone. It transpires that they took part in an attack on the camp in which 27 inmates were killed. Police officers were also implicated.

The film shows the fear and distrust that exists on both sides – in the boy’s eyes and on the father’s face – as both of them hide in the same house and risk coming face to face.

‘Hide and Seek’ was written and directed by theatre director and playwright Delon Weerasinghe. It is his directing debut, and is one of a series of films in the Reel Peace Project run by ScriptNet in Sri Lanka.

'Darkness at Dawn' is about finding harmony in a war-torn village in Sri Lanka when a young boy transforms bullet casings into flutes.

Children lose their childhood in times of war when they are bombed or have to flee their homes. Living in conflict, a young boy and girl alternate between hiding from warplanes overhead, and chasing a feather in the warm sunshine.

Playing amongst burnt out tanks and other remnants of conflict, the boy – an amputee – finds a bullet casing and takes it home. He crafts a crude flute by drilling holes in it and turns this metal killer into a musical instrument.

He makes several flutes and goes into the village to try out his new instrument. At first he gets no response as he stands on a street corner playing. The only person who responds to the sweet sound of the ‘bullet flute’, is another young war victim – a blind boy, who’s lost a hand. The two become friends and sit down and play their harmony together.

‘Darkness at Dawn’ was written and directed by experienced TV and filmmaker, Ananda Abeynayake, and is one of a series of films in the Reel Peace Project run by ScriptNet in Sri Lanka.

The two-year film project brought together Tamil and Sinhalese producers, directors, screenwriters and actors in a series of workshops and productions, which highlight the challenges of living through war and peace.

It is supported by HIVOS, the British Council, Commonwealth Media Development Fund, and UNESCO.


ScriptNet and ScriptNet Productions are a training charity and production company. The charity was set up in 1999 and runs training and skill-sharing projects in tv and film in developing countries. They are currently working in Sri Lanka on a training project called Reel Peace, and in Ghana. The production company was set up to develop corporate, tv and film projects
with a particular focus on productions that share the ethos of the training charity.

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