Young Buddhist monk Ananda, arrives at a temple in order to restore its paintings. These paintings depict Thelapaththa Jathakaya, a moral story where Lord Buddha said that a man with a big ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Thumindnu Dodantenna ...
The Monk
Sachini Ayendra ...
Hairpin Woman
Nilua Heenkendaarachchi ...
The Monk's Secular Alter Ego
K.A. Milton Perera ...
The Older Monk


Young Buddhist monk Ananda, arrives at a temple in order to restore its paintings. These paintings depict Thelapaththa Jathakaya, a moral story where Lord Buddha said that a man with a big target in life must not be swayed by passion (Keles), the five senses and especially beautiful women. One day, Ananda picks up a hair pin belonging to a young woman. While attempting to return this object to its owner, his repressed feelings are awoken by the beauty and sensuality of the woman. The young monk's inner spiritual world is plunged into turmoil. Then one day the paintings are destroyed. While restoring them for the second time Ananda begins to realize that he is trapped in a web of his worldly desires and attachments. Written by Cairo Film Festival

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monk | sri lanka | buddhism | See All (3) »







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October 2007 (USA)  »

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A new outlook for Sri Lankan Cinema
19 April 2009 | by (Sri Lanka) – See all my reviews

Sankara depicts the internal conflict of a vulnerable Buddhist monk whose forbidden desires are aroused by the beauty and comeliness of a girl whose hairpin he discovers. In his endeavour to return it to the girl, he is met with the dark side of him which strives to mislead his heart and accomplish its sensual desires. To portray this inner conflict Prasanna Jayakody skillfully exploits a secular Alter Ego who can be observed in the background during many parts of the movie. Emphasis is given to the theme when the monk's assignation in the temple is revealed to be restoring the wall paintings which relate the Thelapaththa jatakaya, in which desires ("klesha"/ defilement) and sensual pleasures had been condemned by the Lord Buddha.

Because Sankara has a complex screenplay, some audiences might be slightly confused by its plot. But this movie has a wonderful story in it; a meditation on desire. The cinematography is one of the best in the history of Sri Lankan cinema. Palitha Perera uses a colour scheme which goes perfectly with the film's theme and handles the camera and light clever enough to finely capture Ananda's desires to film. Nadeeka Guruge's fresh music harmonizes with the the photography and art direction to give the movie a very artistic appearance.

This movie is truly a masterpiece, rich with sheer creative talent. But the strange fact is it's the work of a débutante director. Sri Lankan cinema has long been shackled by Indian cinema, preventing the creativity of Sri Lankans from emerging with its own identity. Some new directors like Vimukthi Jayasundara tried to modernise Sri Lankan cinema but their insensitivity to the culture and civilization of Sri Lanka and the ethics of its cinema, and their adherence to European cinema makes most of their productions un-Sri Lankan. Contrarily Prasanna Jayakody seems to have a good idea about the cultural restraints of Sri Lanka and the correct path to international recognition. He may be inexperienced in the industry but his mind is rich with a load of experiences surrounding cinema. He has put together his experiences and his vision to create a marvellous work of cinema, one of the best directorial debuts Sri Lanka has ever witnessed. I think it is a must-see for all mature Sri Lankans!!!

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