Sri Lanka fought thirty years of bloody war between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam [LTTE] and the government forces. Nandawathi and her husband earned a living in Chena cultivation in a remote village, Yaka Weva bordering the war zone. On the 20th of March 1994, Nandawathi’s husband and her brother-in-law were abducted by the militants. Nandawathi was left with three young children to bring up as war raged outside without her sole protector. After a deadly bus bomb blast which killed 69 members of the same family, they were forced to live in a refugee camp where they plunged deeper into poverty and destitution. Yet, Nandawathi followed Buddha’s teachings, full of compassion, without an iota of hatred towards her husband’s perpetrators.

The war ended in 2009. Exactly 20 years after the abduction of Nandawathi’s husband, the government caught the assassin. Nandawathi saw the accused face to face inside the court room for the first time. She looked at him a few times. Their eyes met. Nandawathi told him “You have hurt me deeply, yet I forgive you. I am giving you an opportunity to reflect upon the crime you committed. I offer you my forgiveness -for a new beginning”

The film captures the journey of Nandawathi and her three children’s responses, deeply embedded in Buddha’s teachings of loving kindness, forgiveness and equanimity.

  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    28 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Sri Lanka
  • Country of Filming:
    Sri Lanka
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - VISHNU VASU

I was born to a simple farming family from Kandy, Sri Lanka. Grew up in the village chasing buffalos and playing drums on tree trunks. I dreamt of going to America to study film at the New York Film Academy, to dine with Robin Williams, Kiss Meryl Streep and ride in a tram to Castro. I tried zillion times but failed. Frustrated to the very atom of my being I finally left for India. In India I studied broadcast journalism and South Indian percussion. Studied at two prestigious music schools, Los Angeles Music Academy and Stanford University. Coming home I joined McCann Erickson one of the world's leading advertising agencies as a copy writer. May have directed over 150 TV commercials. 15 years later I gave way to my consciousness, I retired. Advertising is not need based – its greed based.

Joined Sarvodaya Movement as a full-time volunteer. Traveled across the country during the thick of the war teaching children and youth applied music and theatre. Worked with refugees confined to camps. Lived with people in border villages. Made documentaries to raise funds for kids.

1. In 2011 released my first documentary film GANDHI’S CHILDREN. A film on marginalised, powerless, Dalits.
2. 2015 released BUTTERFLY a film on LTTE child soldiers
3. 2019 HANDFUL OF LEAVES documentary film on how to use Buddha’s teaching in community development.

In my film career I may have worked on over 100 documentaries as a Writer, Director, Cinematographer both in Sri Lanka and abroad. I live a simple life wanted to leave all material possession I burnt all my certificates a few months ago. So there is nothing I can prove. If you are interested you can log into my YouTube channel “Vishnu Vasu” to find most of my work.

I am a simple village folk with urban needs. Nothing more – Nothing less.

Cell : 077 226 226 7
Email :

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

During the thick of Sri Lanka's civil war i journeyed to war ravaged North and Eastern villages. Lived with villagers to experience the war in full. Worked with children in refugee camps teaching them theatre and music. Twelve years after the war ended i started visiting the same villagers. During my travels i heard many stories. My latest documentary film "MOTHER" is based on one of the stories i heard. Its a simple film woven around interviews.