de Sanjeewa Pushpakumara
recueillis par Philippe Pratx
pour La Nouvelle
Revue de l'Inde et
Invité, pour son
film Flying Fish, au Festival des 3 Continents à Nantes en cette
année 2011, le cinéaste sri lankais Sanjeewa Pushpakumara a répondu
brièvement à nos questions...
SP : I was born in Trincomalee, East of Sri
Lanka. I have been working as a journalist for newspapers, radio and TV.
Now I am working mostly as a film director, but also writer and
SP : While I was working as a journalist I was
able to watch a lot of films which I had never seen before. In Colombo
there are few foreign cultural embassies such as Alliance Française,
Goethe (German), American Center and India Cultural Center, as well were
there always films screenings and some films exhibitions and festivals
as well which are annually organized by EU, Korea, Iran and other
countries. I have always been at those festivals as a moviegoer, while I
was watching those films I realized I have many stories to tell the
world. Then I began to walk through film studies by myself.S till I can
say those festivals inspired me a lot to be a filmmaker.
SP : Filmakers in Sri Lanka I must say Ashoka
Handagama and Prasana Vithanage heavily influcend me, and then Lest
James Peries, Dharmasena Patheraja and Dharmasiri Bandaranayake as well.
In meanwhile there is a film critic called Manubandu Vidiyapathy; his
writings also helped me a lot. In the world cinema, mainly Andrei
Tarkovsky and Ingmar Bergman and then so many directors including Bela
Tarr, Michel Angelo Antonio, Carlos Reygardas, Weerasethakul, Ceylan,
Abbas Kiarosthami, Kim Ki-duk, Ozu, etc.
SP : Touch
I made in 2007 as final production to my film diploma. It's also
about a soldier who lost both of his arms. Wings to Fly also I
made as final production of my film studies in Korea in 2008. The film
is about an affair between blind girl and army soldier.
Please find on Wikipedia all the informations :
Here is also what was written on BFI site (UK) : "Flying
Fish offers an extraordinary journey to the heart of Sri Lankan
darkness with no less vivid, sensual images. Set during the 25-year
civil war that convulsed Sri Lanka, Pushpakumara’s remarkable debut
draws on his own experience growing up in a remote village, where
ordinary lives were degraded by the struggle between Tamil Tigers and
government forces (shown as equally brutal). Recurrent close-up images
of exotic insects and landscapes of startling beauty intersperse scenes
of sexual exploitation, making this a far from comfortable films to
watch. But there’s no denying its impassioned originality. We gave it
the Blue Chameleon jury prize, and there’s a chance to see for yourself
London Film Festival."
Entire film was shot in around my house which is locataed in Eastern
province in Sri Lanka. Film shooting completed end of 2010. Whole film
was shot within 17days.
SP : Still
I don't know exactly, I am a true filmmaker, anyhow I want to be an
organic filmmaker in future one day, a self revealing filmmaker. Making
Flying Fish I can say only one thing for sure: somewhat I was
able to cure my soul.
Certainly this film is my own life you may say, Flying Fish is
as an autobiographical film. As a filmmaker I want to tell about my own
SP : I
don't think ignoring this history is easy for a filmmaker. This history
has been traumatizing our lives forever. So as a filmmaker how can be
SP : I
don't think which is easy. As a filmmaker you have to face many
problems. Among them is political situation, which is still worse than
financial obstacles as well.
SP : To be
honest, I have no business about those cinemas but I am not refusing
them since people like those cinemas. I can only say which is not
neither my cinema or expecting cinema. I know these cinemas spoiling
people minds and exploring the pocket of ordinary people but people
still like it.
SP : I
have been developing two projects wish I could be able to turn on these
projects into films . Will see, we never know what would happen in next