Malayalam Cinema from Politics to Poetics

  • Gönül Dönmez-Colin


MALAYALAM CINEMA FROM POLITICS TO POETICSINDIA IS the leading producer of films in the world with over 1000 films per year. The tiny south-western state of Kerala where a language called Malayalam is spoken has surpassed West Bengal as a major centre of art films. Its most important filmmaker, Adoor Gopalakrishnan is hailed as the living Satyajit Ray. Since the beginning of the 1970s, with the strong film society movement supported by the literary traditions of the state, Malayalam cinema has excelled in politically engagé films with artistic inclinations. When the Golden Age of Tamil and Telugu movies ended, Kannada and Malayalam cinemas came to the fore. Although, they too had their share of stars, the director came to be recognized as the most important person behind a film. The "new cinema" distinguished itself from the outset for its thematic excellence. Even the mediocre films initiated by...