A Peck on the Cheek (“Kannathil Muthamittal”) is a 2002 Indian-Tamil film about a girl orphaned due to the Tamil Tiger struggle in Sri Lanka. The girl, adopted by Tamils in India, at nine years-old learns of her history and journeys with her family back to war torn Sri Lanka to find her biological mother.
The film is superb on many levels. My daughter watched it with me and actually liked it, despite having to read the sub-titles. And as always, when watching films, I did some reading up on the Tamil Tigers issue to refresh myself. To the right is a timeline I made to help you get a quick review – click to enlarge. See more of my film reviews here.
Sri Lanka has two main linguistic divisions: Tamil (yellow) & Sinhalese (purple). The conflict of these people is ancient — starting in 1215 with an invasion from India by Tamil speakers, the Sinhalese flee south and west. In 1956, just after Independence, the “Sinhalese Only Act” is enforced to preserve Sinhalese power. In 1983 Tamil Tigers fight for Tamil-speakers rights. In 2009, the Tigers were defeated after 26 years of civil war. The divisions still exist (see the map below) with Tamil-speakers being largely Hindu and Sinhalese being Buddhist or Catholic (light purple). Sri Lanka is now one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.