1. Program
  2. /
  3. Film Series
  4. /
  5. Echoes from South Asia
  6. /
  7. Songs of Ceylon

Songs of Ceylon

Lieder von Ceylon

Followed by a talk with Laleen Jayamanne (online)

The Gardener of Eden
James Broughton, USA 1981, 8 min, no dialogue, 16mm

A Depression in the Bay of Bengal 
Mark Lapore, USA 1996, 28 min, no dialogue, 16mm

A Song of Ceylon 
Laleen Jayamanne, Australia 1985, 51 min, English, 16mm 

Laleen Jayamanne’s A Song of Ceylon, taking its title from the classic documentary by Basil Wright and John Grierson, is a formally rigorous, visually stunning study of colonialism, gender and the body, a provocative treatise on hybridity, hysteria and performance. Also screening is Mark Lapore’s A Depression in the Bay of Bengal, another delicate and elliptical homage to the classic film made while traveling through civil war torn Sri Lanka. The program begins with James Broughton’s The Gardener of Eden, an intensely poetic portrait of the famous Sri Lankan horticulturist Bevis Bawa.

Laleen Jayamanne received her Ph.D. in Film from the UNSW, on a ‘Feminist Analysis of the Sri Lankan Cinema,’ in 1982. She taught Cinema Studies at Sydney University. Currently, she contributes critical essays to a Sri Lankan English language newspaper (The Island), on the intersection of art, film and politics.