The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Cinema to unite the nation


Using the powerful medium of cinema, together with a series activities to promote social integration, the Ministry of Social Intergration will hold a film festival comprising both local and foreign cinematic creations at 5.30 pm from July 16 to 22 at the National Film Corporation theatre in Colombo.

The festival will feature some of the evergreen Sri Lankan films created by acclaimed filmmakers and renowned films from world cinema. Sunil Ariyaratne’s ‘Sarungalaya’ (The Kite), Dharmasena Pathiraja’s Tamil film ‘Ponmani’ and Asoka Handagama’s ‘Vidhu’ while the world cinema is represented by the German film ‘Good Bye Lenin’, the Iranian film ‘Children of Heaven’, the French film ‘The Intouchables’ and the English film ‘Invictus’.

“The war is over but the most important action that should be followed by any country in a post-war situation, the reintegration of divided communities has not happened in Sri Lanka,” said Mehendra Harishchandra, media secretary of the ministry.

The week starting July 16 is declared as‘National Reintegration week’ and various activities have been organized to bring the different communities together. The week long cinema festival is a part of this and we believe that the art of cinema can play a powerful role in uniting the multi cultural, multi-national and multi religious communities.

Made revolving around ethnic conflict and the 1983 ethnic riots in Sri Lanka, Sunil Ariyaratne’s film starring Gamini Fonseka and Veena Jayakody revolves around a Tamil public official who is transferred to Colombo from Jaffna. A liberal minded man who opposed nationalism, the film is told in flashbacks as he begings a romantic relationship with a young Sinhalese girl who he is unable to marry. The film will be screened on July 16.

Dharmasena Pathiraja’s only Tamil language film ‘Ponmani’ (Younger Sister) screens on July 17 and is about a starkly different socio-economic culture and political climate in Nothern Sri Lanka. Set in the city of Jaffna, it traces the fortunes and concerns of an economically depleted upper caste, lower middle class family. It is an evocative film about land, women, romance and tragedy, narrated in an idiom of understatement.

‘Vidhu’ one of the latest films made by controversial director Asoka Handagama is a film that talks about children, education and socio-economic differences in Sri Lanka. Vidhu without a legitimate father to enjoy paternal love finds obstacles to get himself admitted to a school with no birth certificate to legitimize his birth. The film screens on July 19.

‘Good Bye, Lenin!’, a German tragicomedy film is directed by Wolfgang Becker and is set in East Germany in the year 1989. The film tells the story of a young man who protests against the regime and will be screened on July 18.

The Iranian film ‘Children of Heaven’ directed by renowned director Majid Majidi deals with a brother and a sister and their adventures over a lost pair of shoes. The film that was nominated for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1998 will be shown on July 20.

The French film ‘The Intouchables’ directed by French directors Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano based on the book “You Changed My Life” by Abdel Sellou will be screened on July 21. The film relates the development of the improbable friendship between Philippe, a wealthy tetraplegic, and Driss, a young and poor man from the ghettos, who is hired as his live-in carer.

‘Invictus’ screens on July 22 is a 2009 biographical sports drama film directed by Clint Eastwood starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The story is based on the John Carlin book ‘Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation’ about the events in South Africa before and during the 1995 Rugby World Cup, hosted in that country following the dismantling of apartheid.

Share This Post

comments powered by Disqus

Advertising Rates

Please contact the advertising office on 011 - 2479521 for the advertising rates.