San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival3rd I



pm, Sunday, November 18th, Roxie Theater, San Francisco
Admission: $9
Director: Prasanna Jayakody
Country: Sri Lanka (2006)
Running Time: 87 min, Color, 35mm,
In Sinhalese with English subtitles



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Ananda, a young Buddhist monk arrives at a village to restore the temple's paintings - five moral tales that embody the trap of the five senses. Later when Ananda encounters the village belle, through the light tinkle of her bangles and her hairpin left behind… he sets off on a reverie. One night, the paintings are destroyed and Ananda patiently begins his work all over again. Suffused with the tension between spiritual perfection and earthly desires, he begins to realize that he is trapped by the lure of his worldly desires and

Quietly inserted throughout the narrative are Buddhist concepts of time's insignificance and the supreme value of life, signaled through iconic shots of local flora and fauna. Jayakody continuously contrasts these peaceful images with pans of the frescoes, depicting a world of
disrupted tranquility, mirroring the turmoil within the monk's psyche. The sounds of birds, the rustle of wind in the sugar cane or the gentle clink of the woman's bracelets – the film's rich soundscape evokes awhole story without words. Meditative & painterly, this film was Official Selection at the Rotterdam & London Film Festivals, and won the Special Jury Prize at the Cairo International Film Festival.

Sankara is Jayakody's (1968- ) directorial debut film. Visual allure has been his aesthetic trademark, but his ability to articulate the Sinhala Buddhist ethos is the hallmark of his remarkable career. He debuted at the age of 21 with Seveneli saha Minissu (Shadows and Men), a stage drama thematically woven around a thoughtful discussion on the reality of life, which was a major critical success

US Premiere


To be announced


Cheb I Sabbah

Asian Art Museum

Center for Buddhist Studies, UC Berkeley

Asia Society Northern California

Stanford Center for Buddhist Studies

Surya Dub