Venice 2016 – Horizons
When his father dies, anti-regime partisan Chandra must travel to his remote mountain village after nearly a decade away. Little Pooja is anxiously awaiting the man she thinks is her father, but she’s confused when Chandra arrives with Badri, a young street orphan rumoured to be his son. Chandra must face his brother Suraj, who was on the opposing side during the Nepali civil war. The two brothers cannot put aside political feelings while carrying their father's body down the steep mountain path to the river for cremation. Suraj storms off in a rage, leaving Chandra with no other men strong enough to help. Under pressure from the village elders, Chandra must seek help from outside the village to obey the rigid caste and discriminatory gender traditions he fought to eliminate during the war. Chandra searches for a solution in neighboring villages, among the police, guests at a local wedding, and rebel guerrillas...
From the director of HIGHWAY, a portrait of post-civil war Nepal during the fragile deadlocked peace process.
Rabindra Singh Baniya
A breath of fresh air from the top of the world... The sky-high Himalayas and the aftermath of civil war cast equally dark shadows in White Sun (Seto Surya), an impressively accomplished second feature by Nepalese writer-director Deepak Rauniyar... this is considerably more than merely a slice of verdant exotica from the very roof of the world... a delicately-observed, multi-generational story... Skilfully manipulating romantic and social frictions which in lesser hands might have come across as soapily melodramatic, Rauniyar and Barker construct a parable-like tale whose allegorical aspects are there for those who wish to find them. But their priority is the creation of believable characters in a pungently atmospheric setting... Performances are uniformly impressive across the ensemble...
— Neil Young, THE HOLLLYWOOD REPORTER
White Sun is a road movie, of sorts. It begins with the death of the patriarch of a family, a man of considerable weight, and follows the corpse’s voyage down the mountain accompanied by his son and two spellbinding children. The film is set in the aftermath of the civil war that raged on in Nepal and finally came to an “official” end, or did it, once the new constitution was drawn in 2015. Family dynamics, caste constrictions and the various reasons for the civil war are explored in Rauniyar’s film, who perfectly balances everything until a wonderfully written ending.
— E. Nina Rothe, THE HUFFINGTON POST