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Reading: Reading the ‘Silent’ Space: Background Setting of the Post-1990 Sri Lankan Art Cinema as an ...

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Reading the ‘Silent’ Space: Background Setting of the Post-1990 Sri Lankan Art Cinema as an Expression of Socio-Cultural Silence

Author:

Priyantha Fonseka

University of Peradeniya, LK
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Abstract

This article explores the distinctive silence seen in the background spaces of selected Sri Lankan films, produced in the post-1990 era, namely: Asoka Handagama’s This is My Moon (2000), Prasanna Vithanage’s Death on a Full Moon Day (1997), Vimukthi Jayasundara’s Forsaken Land (2005), Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s Flying Fish (2011), and Prasanna Vithanage’s August Sun (2003). The article observes the phenomenon of silence in relation to Sri Lanka’s social, political and cultural history and contemporary leanings in national cinema. The selected film-backgrounds echo the forces of Sinhala-Buddhist nationalism that prompt the civil war, youth uprisings, and the systemic inequities prevalent in the socio-political landscape of Sri Lanka. This article suggests that the alteration of the dynamic, melodious and breathing village into a static, silent and non-living one is not simply limited to the occurrences of the films but also has deep socio-cultural connections.
How to Cite: Fonseka, P., 2022. Reading the ‘Silent’ Space: Background Setting of the Post-1990 Sri Lankan Art Cinema as an Expression of Socio-Cultural Silence. Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities, 43(1), pp.48–66. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljh.v43i1.7287
Published on 01 Jul 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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