TV Times

A docu-film in search of Justice
By Susitha R. Fernando

The maiden screening of 'In Search of Justice' (Vinischya Soya), a documentary film based on the life of Rohana Wijeweera was screened at National Film Corporation theatre at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo-7, recently.

Directed by Nandana Weeraratne and produced by Paul Pieris, the documentary film shows video clips that were unseen and survived the two repressions. An artist and film lover, Paul Pieris did his first movie nearly four decades ago in Italy.

"I left Sri Lanka 52 years ago and I was involved in creative art as a painter and also wrote two books on different subjects," Paul Pieris said speaking to the TV Times.

"This video documentary is a collection of historical facts depicting why Rohana Wijeweera pursued the path of proletarian revolution. The facts we produced show the colonial past and how the British passed the country's administration to the local wealthy class. Through his own speeches and interviews with eyewitnesses we show his attempt to free the oppressed masses," Pieris explained.

The docu film also shows how the old left parties, which represented the organized working class, joined the ruling elite. At this juncture Rohana's call for the oppressed people to rally around his revolutionary ideas brought an immense response. That can be seen visually in the documentary.

These recorded historical facts; the essence of his oratory, his appeals and his reasoning of his actions shown in the film is a brief summary of his political life to understand why he pursued that path.

"However I did not do this film to promote any political party or as a propaganda work for any politician. It is only because I admire the character of Wijeweera for he was the only leftwing leader came from the oppressed class in this country and he is a politician who kept his word," Pieris said.

Director Paul Pieris Producer Nandana

Wijeweera was the first Sri Lankan political leader who opposed separatism at a meeting in Jaffna and he was also the only Sri Lankan freedom fighter against British imperialism in the 20th century. "I always wanted to do a film on this political leader and when I saw Nandana's story I thought it would be better to make into a film," he added.

Paul Pieris; painter and producer

Paul Pieris who left Sri Lanka nearly half a century ago worked as a painter in England. Doing portraits, Pieris later became a graphic artist and he also has written couple of books including a story on his journey from Sri Lanka to North Cape.

Titled "Dewundara Thuduwe Sita Uthuru Thuduwata" (From Dondra Head to North Cape), the book described Paul's journey overland which took nearly two months and it has described all the important places in the world that he came across.

He also wrote "Iron Wood Tree", a story about the Japanese air raid in Colombo.

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