TV Times

Dheewari depicts harsh realities of fishing life

Long-awaited film ‘Deewari’ (Fisherman’s Daughter), the maiden cinematic venture of director Salinda Perera based on the novel of Raja Proctor, is now being screened at New Olympia Maradana and other Ridma circuit cinemas.

It represented Sri Lanka at Armspring film festival, California, Sundance Film Festival, Utah and Los Angelese Film Festival. The film Set in the 1970’s portrays the harsh realities of life in a fishing village in Sri Lanka. Shot in 1995 recalling the 1970 decade and edited in 2006, the film has a veteran cast including international acclaimed actors like Joe Abeywickrema. Others include Sangeetha Weerarathna (Valli), Cyril Wickremage(Peduru), Trilicia Gunawardene(Josie), Jackson Anthony (Manuel) and Veena Jayakodi(Mudalali’s Wife).

Valli an adolecent girl is forced out of the orphanage where she was raised.  She returns to her native fishing village to live with her aunt and uncle. Valli’s parents had been denied their own boat by the village chief who controlled all aspects of the fishing trade. Valli’s father had built an outrigger, but he and Valli’s mother had perished at sea.   While her uncle and the other villagers were resigned to their dismal life under this feudal system, Valli who was an outsider is shocked.  She finds the inequity of life, especially the prejudice against women which was intolerable. Inspired by her parents courage and independence, she sets out to change things.  

The screen-play for ‘Dheewari’ was written by Salinda Perera and Darrell Costa. The art director is Sunil Wijerathne, edited by Harris Nanda Siri, camera was handled by Lal Wickremaarachchi. Talented musician Pradeep Ratnayake wrote the musical score while the film was produced by Salinda Perera and Chandran Ratnam.

Dheewari Director

Born in Sri Lanka in 1953, Salinda Perera had been living in the United States of America since 1976. He started his film career as an assistant director with Lester James Pieris’s ‘God King’ in 1973. Salinda has an MFA from UCLA Film School and had a brief career as an artist and theatre director in Sri Lanka before he migrated to the United States.

He co-wrote, produced and directed Life the first English language rock opera in Sri Lanka. Salinda returned to Sri Lanka in 1995 to film ‘Dheewar i’, however, the film was only finally completed in 2006. He currently lives in Los Angeles and works on Television Commercials.

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