Conversation with Sri Lankan Director Dharmasena Pathiraja
AbstractONE LEAGUE OF SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS: CONVERSATION WITH SRI LANKAN DIRECTOR DHARMASENA PATHIRAJA He has been referred to as a "rebel with a cause," an "enfant terrible of the '70s, and is widely recognised as the pioneer of Sri Lankan cinema's "second revolution." However, from his speech and writings, one gathers Dharmasena Pathiraja is more interested in re-examining the values that underpin such popular labels than to let his work be framed by mere posturing. If Lester James Peries has been credited with the establishment of an indigenous Sinhala cinema coinciding with Sri Lanka's political, social and cultural revolution during the mid-1950s, and whose works were categorised as "art films" dissimilar to those of mainstream filmmaking, Dharmasena Pathiraja's arrival on the scene in the 1970s would redefine a socially conscious Other to Peries' gaze on "bourgeois idealism." For Pathiraja, critical engagement would be his "alternative."...