‘Ramayana was written thousands of years ago and we’re still trying to live that kind of life’

Posted on September 6, 2019

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Read the full article on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/venice-international-film-festival-2019-sanal-kumar-sasidharan-interview-chola-baradwaj-rangan/

Fresh off the screening of ‘Chola’ in the Orizzonti section of the Venice Film Festival, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan opens up about the movie, which originated in the Suryanelli rape case.

So Sanal, let’s start with this. What is your fascination with the Ramayana?

I was surprised to see that you figured it out. It felt very nice when I read your review. You know in my childhood, I used to read the Ramayana. It was this growing-up ritual, reading it with my father. That story has created the whole Indian society: the morals, the principles for women, the principles for society and obedience, virginity, chastity, everything. It was created thousands and thousands of years ago and still in this age, we’re trying to live that kind of life. So I think we need to reread it and reconstruct it to find out what is wrong in our society. 

So when you make a film, when you write it, does it just happen to reflect the Ramayana, because, as you say, it is so prevalent in our society? Or are you actually saying, ‘I want to take that bit of Ramayana and examine it…’

It is a mutual kind of happening. Sometimes, I start thinking about something else then I find that this is really connected to this kind of culture, so I think I need to give some kind of note here. There is nothing in Chola that overtly connects with the Ramayana. I think the only person who will talk about it is you. I think you know it, that’s why. Maybe the international audience won’t get it, maybe the Indian audience also won’t get it because there is no connection with Rama, Ravana and all, in that very obvious sense. 

Continued at the link above.

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