The often harsh life of women in an intolerant community comes under the spotlight in 'Flying with One Wing', a low budget, Sri Lankan, companion piece to 'Boys Don't Cry'. Driector Handagama certainly examines all aspects of the sexuality of the situation he depicts (the life a woman who disguises herself as a man); we see the heroine fancied by people who see through her disguise, and who don't, of both sexes. Some aspects of the film seem amateurish: there are some risible fight scenes, and the synching of the dialogue with the images is also poor. But the collection of quirky characters, the matter-of-fact cutting between scenes, and the smart use of a sly soundtrack are all much better, and at times even reminiscent of the work of Mike Leigh. The consistent absence of tracking shots also gives the film a distinctive visual feel. 'Flying with one Wing' is hardly a classic; but it is a distinctive and thought-provoking movie from a part of the world known to most westerners only as tourists. Worth watching.
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