Sri Lanka, 2009, 86 minutes
Sat, Apr 24 / 6:15 / Kabuki / BETW24K
Sun, Apr 25 / 9:00 / Kabuki / BETW25K
Mon, Apr 26 / 3:15 / Kabuki / BETW26K
Against a palpitating backdrop of rebellion, riot and war, this strange and irresistible Sri Lankan tale winds an unpredictable path between myth and reality, war and peace, love and madness. A half-wild young man travels in an aimless fashion from the city, where he seems to take vicarious pleasure in the mob violence sweeping through its commercial district, only to make his way willy-nilly back home, to a village on the edge of a forest in a shimmering, verdant valley where all young men his age are hiding in the woods from some unseen mortal dread. The serene motion and exquisite compositions of director Vimukthi Jayasundara’s camera draw us along with this deeply ambiguous, mysterious protagonist in a state of wonderment and expectation, across paradisial landscapes menaced by hellish fear and imminent violence, where nevertheless an easy, humble humor and wisdom also abide. Fate, prophesy, destiny and myth wrap themselves around the realistic and contemporary reality of civil war, as we halt by two happy fishermen relating a story about a certain banished prince, hiding in the hollow of a tree, awaiting the moment of his revenge. When our protagonist follows visions of death to the edge of a nearby lake, an older man swimming there recognizes the truth in such seeming hallucinations. “Nothing’s improbable,” he notes matter-of-factly. “What happened before may happen again.” This confident and alluring second feature from Jayasundara (The Forsaken Land, 2005) uses a bold, beautiful, mysterious blending of realism and allegory to crack open a world turned upside down.
Presented in association with 3rd i. U.S. Premiere.