Festival update

Synopsis


Cast & characters (in the order of importance)

Credits

Stills

 

Director's Statement
Adoor Gopalakrishnan

Doordarshan, India’s national television net work approached me some time back, to make a programme based on the works of the famed Kerala author Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. This prolific writer who is a favourite author of mine has written more than forty novels and as many as four hundred short stories. It took a while for me to read up all his writings together. The exercise was both frustrating and exciting alternately. In the past –spanning my childhood and youth - I had relished each of them at leisure. Now, some of my favourite stories of yester years suddenly looked pale and wanting while a few others I had read and forgotten about emerged with remarkable vitality and relevance. The reason was simple, this time I was looking for seed material to make a film. These varying responses were in no way a reflection on the author’s genius but it was simply due to the shift in my angle of vision.


Interestingly, the works I short-listed for filming – nine in all - were short stories.

The selection of short stories was significant as it would in due course allow me the freedom to introduce characters, situations and infuse sub-texts and layers into the narrative. It was not per chance that the four stories finally chosen were on women. In the matrilineal society of Kerala, women enjoyed the pride of place in the family as well as the society. In some ways they were independent but in other ways convention- bound.

The film deals with the romantic episode of a street woman in a small town, examines the plight of a newly married farm- worker girl, a childless house-wife and a spinster belonging to the middle class. These four stories, independent yet together present a cross section of the social life lived in the erstwhile Travancore State (the southern part of present- day Kerala) a little before and after the independence of the country.