This mesmerising, densely beautiful film from Sri Lanka takes us on a mysteriously symbolic journey with a young man who plunges to earth. “Like a freshly remembered dream.” — San Francisco Bay Guardian
Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
From the first breathtaking image of a man plunging into the sea from high in the heavens, the emblematic yet fiercely sensuous vision of Vimukthi Jayasundara (The Forsaken Land, NZIFF06) takes hold. Who is this man? Only a folk tale told by two fishermen provides tantalising clues. We follow him from a riot-torn city into mountain jungles where he courts his sister-in-law – and young men are hunted as prey. Research reveals that the story derives in large part from the Mahavamsa, a verse history of legendary early kings of Sri Lanka, such as Pandukhabaya, who survived all his evil uncles’ attempts to kill him off while still a boy. The film clearly evokes the ravages of civil war and seems to be probing a foundation myth that has apparently been co-opted by both Tamil and Sinhalese nationalists. However we do not need to know exactly what this mesmerising symbolic journey means to understand that adventurous Festival-goers might well want to take it. — BG
“It's clear from the outset of this brilliant film that Jayasundara is transforming himself into a compelling auteur, one who has the potential to become a master.” — Brannavan Gnanalingam, The Lumiere Reader.