Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka: An utterly convincing doc

3 out of 4 stars

No Fire Zone: The Killing Fields of Sri Lanka
Directed by
Callum Macrae

As advocacy documentaries go, this chronicle of war crimes conducted by the Sri Lankan government against Tamil civilians during the 2009 conclusion of the Asian country's 26-year-long civil war, is utterly convincing, and a refutation of Sri Lankan government denials.

Composed largely of cellphone and video images culled from Tamil civilians and trophy videos from government soldiers, the film is damning both of the largely Sinhalese government's ethnic assaults against its Tamil minority population, and the United Nations, which failed to stop or report the attacks, leading to the deaths of between 40,000 and 70,000 people (according to UN reports) in the final five months of the campaign.

Much of the footage is extremely gruesome, with the purpose of getting the crimes recognized and perpetrators prosecuted, though the TV news voice-over can seem jarringly artless. Sometimes, it's important to know when words fail.

Story continues below advertisement

At the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema.

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Film critic

Liam Lacey is a film critic for The Globe and Mail. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨