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Four volunteers travel to Peraliya, Sri Lankan after the 2004 tsunami, and their planned two-week journey becomes a year of heartbreak and rebirth.



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A.P. Darmedesa ...
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A volunteer film. Four independent volunteers with little money and no experience race off to volunteer in tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka . They meet up at the Colombo airport by fate, rent a van, fill it with supplies and start driving down the coast to see where they can help. They stumble into Peraliya, a tribal village which has been totally destroyed by a 40 foot wave overturning a train and killing over 2500 people. No-one is there helping so they set up a first aid station and find themselves in charge of a refugee camp with over 3000 people. A two week journey turns into a year long odyssey of heartbreak and hope as the villagers slowly begin to turn against them when the worlds donated tsunami money doesn't materialize. The volunteers push on through the death threats and break every rule in the 'Disaster Aid Books'. Everyone is needed : no skills required. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In a world of growing disasters and wars ... everyone is needed. See more »



Official Sites:




Release Date:

11 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La troisième vague  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


After the 2010 Haiti earthquake disaster, director Alison Thompson flew to Haiti with Sean Penn and Oscar Gubernati and ran a field hospital and refugee camp of over 70,000 people for 6 months. See more »


Alison: I'm not helping good people or bad people I'm just helping human beings, so let 'God' or 'Buddha' sort it out!
See more »

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User Reviews

Four volunteers arrive in a Sri Lankan village after the tsunami.
23 December 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have seen "The Third Wave" twice and I will see it over and over again. In addition to its qualities as a movie -- and there are many throughout -- it contains a very powerful message that by the end packs an emotional wallop. "Everyone is needed," indeed, when it comes to volunteering, to help people who cannot help themselves because of profound misfortune and tragedy. In the case of the village of Peraliya in Sri Lanka portrayed in "The Third Wave," it was the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004 that obliterated the coastal region of that country. There is no hiding the grief, but the film also is a story of hope and love. Still, it is very important for potential viewers to understand that this is a damn fine movie and the message is weaved into it. There is not a soapbox in "The Third Wave"; there is an intense film-watching experience and along the way you have a better recognition of what "love thy neighbor" means.

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