“Enchanted Forests, Spiritual Journeys: Four Recent Films from Sri Lanka” - March 02, 07 and 09, 2008 at the
Meyer Auditorium of the Freer Gallery

The Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Washington D.C. and the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka is screening four recent films from Sri Lanka, “Enchanted Forests, Spiritual Journeys: Four Recent Films from Sri Lanka” on March 02, 07 and 09, 2008 at the Meyer Auditorium of the Freer Gallery.

Sri Lanka Ambassador in the U.S., Mr. Bernard Goonetilleke, who addressed the audience at the launch of the screening on March 2, 2008, revived memories of a previous Sri Lanka film festival at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in 2006, which was much appreciated by Sri Lankan and non-Sri Lankan movie-goers in the Greater Washington area.

The Ambassador said that generally speaking, Sri Lankan films are based on Sinhala literature and village life, and often feature the beautiful scenery of the island. One of the movies being screened, “Suriya Arana,” is such an example. “Incidentally, it was the highest grossing film in Sri Lankan cinema history,” said Ambassador Goonetilleke.

Following are the movies included in the current screening -

Against the Tide (“Uduganyamaya”)

Sunday, March 2, 2008, 2:00 pm, Meyer Auditorium

Set in 1989, Sudath Devapriya's film takes place in a lakeside village. The young boy at the story's center lives in idyllic innocence-until his father mysteriously disappears after ferrying a group of strangers to a nearby island. The boy soon realizes that the surrounding lush forest harbors secrets from the armed conflict then ravaging the country.

Fire Fighters (“Suriya Arana”)

Friday, March 7, 2008, 7:00 pm, Meyer Auditorium

At the heart of this ecological parable from director Somaratne Dissanayake is a rambunctious hunter. When not teaching the trade to his young son, he regales his fellow villagers with ghost stories about the forest around them. The hunter's superstitions and arrogance are challenged by the arrival of two Buddhist monks and their philosophy of compassion and respect for nature.

“Arumosam Wehi” (Fancy rains)

Sunday, March 9, 2008, 1:00 pm, Meyer Auditorium

The Tender Trap (“Sankranthi”)

Sunday, March 9, 2008, 3:00 pm, Meyer Auditorium

Anuruddha Jayasinghe's film cleverly plays on the undeniable similarities between humans and primates. An elderly primatologist begins to suspect his young wife of having an affair with his assistant, so he sets out to ensnare them with a scheme based on his study of primate behavior. His "tender trap" leads to consequences none of them foresees.
2005 / 80 min.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

05 March 2008

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