The hour-long documentary narrates the tale of ‘adivasis’ and their struggle against feudal landlords

The darkness of the open air theatre was driven away by the lights emanating from the projector and as it lit the screen, one could see a butterfly happily flapping away, just like the birds that chirped and cranes that flew low over the gushing waters of the mountain streams.

The frame then opened to lofty hillocks and the sight of women working in green fields. A minute later, the audience were jerked out of their reverie as the camera panned from the bottom of a pylon, moving fast but without jerks.

The discerning could make out a martyrs memorial, while in the background, the voice of artist Ajay Ghosh announced the ‘Sikkolu’ armed struggle that started in 1967.

Those were the opening shots of Poru Daari that translates as ‘The road to struggle’: an hour-long documentary produced by Dharitry Creations, directed by L.V. Ramana Prasad with technical support from Allani Sridhar of Filmedia Productions. Director of Photography Rajesh Nandan captured the scenic beauty of the region North of Visakhapatnam that now comprises Srikakulam. The visuals together with the background music and lyrics penned by Bhoopal aptly narrated the story of the ‘adivasis’ and their struggle against the feudal landlords.

The screenplay effectively communicated the way the traders (called ‘thondeelu’ and ‘sowkaarlu’) entered the lives of the simple tribals, before entrapping them in the web of debt.

Before the screening, a group from Praja Kalakaarula Samakhya, a State-wide federation of artistes, led by Subhadra and assisted by Kanthamma, Chinni, Maria and Krishnaveni told the story of freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, enacting it using the ‘Burrakatha’ format.

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