Earth (2020) - full transcript

In a dilapidated rural courthouse a mother seeks justice for her son abducted by paramilitary men during the 1988/89 insurgency in Sri Lanka.

4 p.m. at the library. Okay?

Death to Premadasa

I've been so worried.

...The leader of the Patriotic People's Movement has been arrested...

Why are you putting that dried fish aside?

That smell of burning tyres makes me want to vomit.

is it Boxes' Muse?

There was a time like that.

When they ordered us not to leave home we stayed indoors.

Those who stayed indoors were killed by nameless gunmen.

They would announce curfews day after day.

When they lifted the curfew people stepped out of their homes.

Some never came back.

On one of those days they came for me too.

If he's done something wrong break his arm or leg

but please send him home.

I can look after him, sir.

I've told you. Your son's not here.

But sir, I've just heard my son call out “mother”.

Cut it out and leave now.

Please sir, let me see my child.

Sir, let me see him just once.

Hey, who let this woman in?

Have you seen this child being brought into the hospital?



Let's ask the guy in this room.

My mother has been searching for me for six years.

Identify the person now.

You must touch the person to identify him.

Are you absolutely sure?


The witness points at the fifth person from the left

in the identification parade

and she identifies the suspect by touching him.

Now this is the process.

We'll schedule the hearing when the CID presents its brief of evidence.

It will come to this court, then be heard in the upper court.

The culprits can be punished only in the upper court.

This will drag on for a while. Understand?

Any news about my son, sir?

Hopefully the defendant will reveal something to the CID.

Can I ask that man?

Are you out of your mind?

That's a job for the police.

You'll get into trouble.


would you get me file 93/512?

Do you want to stay alive or be on a pyre of burning tyres?

Who do you think you are?

Something was wrong with his eyes.
He kept twitching them like this...

I was so hoping to hear some news today.

They're trying to cover up everything.

You've waited this long. Why not wait a bit longer, sister?

Bring some bleaching powder.

I'll see you all later.

Shameless bastard.

He acts as if nothing happened.

There's nothing inauspicious until the 29th.

Step away and wait for Grandma, child?

Why can't I stay here, Grandma?

When will she reach puberty, Reverend?

In about five months. I've written it there.

She won't go astray just because she lost her mother.

She'll study hard and achieve a high position.

Permission to leave, Reverend sir.

I have my granddaughter's school uniforms.

- Could you remove the stains from them?

Reverend sir...

I was wondering if
I could get this horoscope checked.

Whose horoscope? Your son's?


Now that the court case has started, everyone keeps saying...

Horoscopes for
Che Guevara terrorists?

Reverend, these shirts?

Pass those shirts onto somebody.

I heard you've identified someone at the court.

Yes, Reverend.

I wonder why they're taking soldiers to court when there's a war on.

No room for that.

- - Just take me to the junction, please.
- The next bus will be here soon.

Let's go!

I was wondering if there's any news.

Haven't I told you
I'd let you know if there's any news?

Wasn't your son taken over five years ago?

But sir, a boy from Matara returned home after seven years.

Could you ring around 3 p.m?

Would he reveal something while he's in prison, sir?

He won't be jailed again. The Court of Appeal granted him bail.

The CID will release him today.

Weren't you listening to the magistrate?

Does it mean the case is over?

We won't let him go that easily.

The CID took statements from him. I've asked them to report back.

I'll send a telegram if there's any news. Okay?

One of us was handed over to the police the day before yesterday.

- - There's one day left...
- Who knows what will happen?

We'll have to look into it.

Where's my son? Tell me the truth.

Where is he?

He's alive.

Tell me where you're hiding him.

He was sent to a rehabilitation camp. Go to the Commission.

Rehabilitation? Where?

Borella... Colombo 8.

Why should you go through so much pain at this age?

How on earth have you walked such distances?

There should be a man at home, even if he is never there.

Why would your own children make you suffer?

- - Let me read your palm, madam.
- No need.

No point searching, madam.

You will find it only when you stop searching.

Let me see your palm, madam.

My Lord!

You've never experienced joy in your life.

Not even sweet dreams. Is that true?

What do you have to say about my child?

Your child doesn't have the same feelings you have for him.

He will return to apologise.

Return? When?

Soon. Don't worry.

He will kneel down before you to beg forgiveness.

You must perform a special ritual for God Kataragama.

Who's there?

- - Can you speak English?
- Yes.

We don't have any English person.

VJhat is b's name?

- - What is his age?
- 34.

Can't you summon that man to this Commission, sir?

This is a criminal case.
We're not in a position to influence it.

Fill in this form, please.

You'll receive compensation of 25,000 rupees.

It will be a cheque.


\Ne issue death certificates for those who haven't returned within five years.

Please S/9n, his'°™ and hand it in.

We can mail you the death certificate.


Samarappuli Henayalage Babanona.

Compensation for the disappeared person.

What the hell are you doing here?

- - Please listen to me, Aunty.
- Why should I?

Aunty, we should get the...

Get out of here! I said get out.

Feed a beggar with this.


A telegram for you.

- - Is it from the court?
- Yes.

The case is on the 17th.

Is there any news about my son?

They'll try every tactic to stop this case getting to the High Court.

No matter how much they threaten you, don't back off until they're punished.

Don't go too far.

Yes, Counsel.

Your Honour, this motion was filed today to inform Your Honour's court

that the Criminal Investigation Division has compiled a brief of evidence.

Your Honour, may I fix a date for the preliminary investigations?

Your Honour...

the suspect is a serving member of the Sri Lankan army.

He is currently on bail.

His wife is expecting their first child...

- - Counsel, are you ready to proceed?
- Yes, Your Honour.

- - Don't drink too much.
- I'm the one who's thirsty.

We'll be late.

You dropped this.

- - What's in these buns?
- Fish.

- - This one?
- Eggs.

How many bodies are there?

According to him between 150 and 200, sir.

Do you mean one grave or several graves?

About 20 graves according to him.

Apparently they've used the area for two years.

- - You haven't identified the graves?
- No, sir.

He was granted bail just as we were about to.

- - Let's file a motion, then.
- Okay, sir.

- - Don't let anyone know yet.
- Very well, sir.

A witness?




We're going to Kadurugaha Waththa. You can come if you like.


Yes, we might find a clue.

We're unearthing necklaces, clothes and other things.


We'll drop you home before dark.


t* paliha'"at)ana'

This is the mother of the victim.

- - Mother, sit here.
- No need, sir.

Please sit here.

You must gather some strength now.

Listen to me carefully and answer my questions.

Do you remember what your son was wearing?

Only a sarong.

I have a piece of the cloth they used to blindfold him.

We have a piece of that cloth.

Listen to me now.
I'm asking about the sarong.

It had orange coloured stripes.

Stripes We

When my son came to me in my dreams

and said he was somewhere, suffering,

I didn't understand.

I understand your grief.


Come in.

I heard about your problems.
I didn't want to bother you.


Return this before the school holiday ends.

Don't you get sore fingers when you wash a big load?

I'm used to it now, Miss.

Such a pleasant child, just like her mother.

Had she not run for that election she'd still be alive.

And the child in her womb would've been five years old.

Those rogues are begging for votes as if nothing ever happened.

- Already finished? - I tasted fish.

I made them for the tea shops. Are you still a vegetarian?

Wait a moment.

Will you come to the meeting?

We must get at least one of our men into local council.

My son would also distribute flyers at election time.

Times are different, Aunty.

I started to realise by then that he'd joined the movement.

I knew he was up to something really dangerous

with that tutor.

Aunty, I don't think it will rain.

I'm not sure.

I thought,
why should I meddle in their business?

After all, they were more educated.

We're from
the Patriotic People's Movement.

Mother, father, brother, sister... do you see both sides of the road?

This despotic government is killing innocent young people,

leaving their disfigured bodies on every corner.

It's breaking this country into pieces...

They'll hand part of it over to India...

Mother, father, brother, sister, we urge you to boycott the election.

Stop the bus!

What's wrong?

Move on. Go!

That was a time when you couldn't caution your own child.

Is it a crime to hand out flyers, Aunty?

What about the criminals roaming free?

Why don't you take those clothes today?

You must wear something decent for those meetings.

What about these shoes?

704, non-summary.

Defendant, enter the dock. Lionel Yakupitiya.

Witnesses, come forward...

- - Ready for the trial, Your Honour.
- Yes, Your Honour.

First witness, Sergeant Gammanpila, enter the witness box.

Other witnesses, leave the court.
Wait outside.

Stay here.

It will be a while before you testify but you must be here.

- Eat something and come back at 1.30.

- - Have you brought something?
- I'm not hungry, sir.

You do laundry for a living, don't you?

Some people are buying washing machines these days.

I prefer hand washing to machines.

Where are you going?

He has an illness.

He can't stay in one place.

They deserve to rot alive with bedsores...

and be eaten by maggots.

I knelt down at your man's feet,

begging him not to take my child away.

They battered him, broke his bones and pulled out his toenails.

I was told that they buried him alive.

There will be a reckoning in this life and the lives to come.

Even their children, born and unborn, will be cursed.

This creature's mother was run over by a car.

Awful karma!

What's he doing here?

- - Where is it?
- What?


What are you talking about?

There's nothing here.

Go away!

I didn't recognise you.

- - Come in.
- No, I must go back to work.

I left work without permission.

The police brought a man to the hospital yesterday.

He looks just like your son...

The one
in the photo you
showed me.

My son?

Yes, but he has some mental issues.

The doctor's trying to send him to the asylum

but I begged him to keep the boy just one more day.

You must come and see him.

See you then.


-Tate a W', er'°Ok'

\Ne must have sinned a lot to see and hear these awful things...

to suffer seeing them again and again.

He was your only son, wasn't he?

You don't have anyone to look after you later on.

This is my only child.

But there were five in my husband's family.

Four of them were in the army.

Tiger terrorists killed two of them.

Aunty, can't you give up this case?

™S won't bring your son teck

They've taken all his medals away because of this case.

His bosses made him do all the dirty work

while they got promoted to higher positions.

He was on medical leave.

You don't notice, but he's a sick man.

He wakes up in the night screaming from the nightmares.

He wets the bed almost every night.

Aunty, he is living in hell.

Take a seat.

No, I'm fine here, Miss.

Shall I bring your chair?

No, Miss.

Did you know my mother?

I performed the ceremony for your mother too.

j\/P shot my

I know, Miss.

Do you remember that day?

I remember that day very well, Miss.

My son had a high fever that day.

That's why
I remember that day so well.

I rubbed his forehead with a vinegar patch and gave him Panadol

but he whimpered with fever the whole night.

Give this to her.

You're giving evidence today.


- - Is everything okay?
- I must talk to you.

Just repeat what you told the police. Don't worry about anything.

What is your name?

Samarappuli Henayalage Babanona.

Your husband?

He's no longer alive.

Your son?

K k. Kamal Sbanlha.

You lodged a complaint with the police about your son's abduction.

When did this occur'?

November 7,1989.

What happened that day?

About 8 o'clock at night I served dinner for my son.

Then when I was about to serve myself...

I heard the noise of a vehicle screeching to a halt.

They had come for my son.

My son ran out the back door but he got caught.

And then?

I heard yelling in the darkness “Catch him! Catch him!”

One of them tore a sheet to blindfold my son.

Did you recognise these men?

Their faces were

But you recognised one of them.

I found it hard to recognise them in the dark.

You identified the defendant in an identification parade.

Objection, Your Honour.

You identified a person...


Who was that? Tell the truth.

I identified the man in the dock.

But now I'm not sure whether he's the same person.

I couldn't recognise them in the dark.

I can't recall.

Why are you scared to give evidence?

I'm not scared.

What, then?

I don't want this case to go on.

You don't?
You're only saying it now?

Do you know how hard I worked to bring it this far?

Not one day off!
I worked for weeks to find those graves.

When the police were absconding I chased after them

to collect all the evidence.

I'll plead with the magistrate to let you testify again.

No need, sir.

Get out«'here'

Please listen.

Go back into the witness box. Say you identify that man.

I won't ask anything else of you.

You can do it, can't you?

Aunty, you've betrayed your own son.

He sacrificed his life for all of us.

Did you know?

They tortured him...

but he never uttered a word.

Only you could have punished them on behalf of all of us.

My son comes to me in my dreams and says that he's floating,

somewhere in the darkness, he's suffering in so much pain.

If you're listening to me now, my son,

you must know that I've forgiven the criminals.

You must now get out of that ghostly existence

and find a life in the womb of a blessed mother.

My God! What is this?

I went to your place but someone said we'd find you here.

Why would you bring all this?

You can stay in the taxi.

He isn't here, he got out on the way.

You must go too.
You can't keep this child in the sun.

There's no hurry, Aunty.
I don't know when I can come back.

A girl.

Say hello to Grandma.

This is the angel who rescued your father.

Say thank you.

I heard that they dropped the case.

I felt bad about living overseas.

I was always worried something might happen to you.

What could happen to me?

You know about the weapon.

I saw you burying it...

on the day my son had a high fever...

on the day
Madam Rupawathi was killed.

Was Madam Rupavathi killed by that gun?

Who shot her?

Tell me the truth.

I had news the land would be subdivided and sold.

How could that happen?

Would my own child do something like that?

I must remove it tonight.

It's not there any more.

Not there?

Sir, give me back my son.

Give me back my son.

On the night they took me away my mother concealed it in the mud.

It must have rusted and decayed by now.

-:- OCR by Sh!kZ -:-