Sri Lanka 1983 – Jude Ratnam is five years old. On a red train, he flees the massacre of Tamils instigated by the Pro-Sinhalese majoritarian government. Now a filmmaker, he takes the same train from South to North. As he advances, the traces of the violence of the 26-year-old war, which turned the Tamil fight for freedom into self-destructive terrorism pass before his eyes. He unveils the repressed memories of his compatriots, opening the door to a new era and making peace possible again. Demons in Paradise is the result of ten years of work. For the first time, a Tamil documentary filmmaker living in Sri Lanka is seeing the Civil war from the inside.
Jude Ratnam worked for an NGO before becoming a filmmaker. He obtained a degree in sociology and psychology from the University of Kamaraj in southern India, before studying cinema at the School of Media Art and Managment in Sri Lanka. In 2006, he left his post at the NGO, no longer able to bear the hypocrisy of a job consisting of preaching reconciliation while civil war still raged, and the country was violently divided and impoverished. After months of rumination on how he could reach the greatest number of people in an intimate yet political way, he chose to make films. This gave him the courage to commit to a project for 10 years, despite the risks involved. He had the backing of a French team (his co-writer Isabelle Marina introduced him to the producer Julie Paratian), along with some Tamil and Sinhalese partners, since his aim was to put into practice a dialogue of reconciliation during the actual shoot. Jude Ratnam is also a film critic and cofounder of the Colombo Film Circle, and manager of the KRITI-A Work of Art production company, which co-produced Demons In Paradise. He is currently working on some new film projects in Sri Lanka.