Jnanpith award winner U.R. Ananthamurthy is not only counted among eminent Indian writers, but also among teachers and activists. A keen observer of social and political issues, he continues to exude enthusiasm even at 80.
His charisma has inspired many filmmakers, including Hariharan and Krishna Masadi, and there have been eight documentaries on his life and works so far. Now, national award-winning director Girish Kasaravalli has made an attempt to understand and present Prof. Ananthamurthy in a different perspective.
Kasaravalli’s film U.R. Ananthamurthy, not a biography, but a hypothesis, which premiered in the city on Saturday, is a birthday gift of sorts for the writer, who turns 81 on December 21.
The 75-minute film foregrounds the vision of the writer’s fiction and his reflections on our life and times against the backdrop of comments by critics who have interacted with him for several decades.
The film features sociologists and intellectuals such as Ashis Nandy, Shiv Visvanathan, Ashok Vajpeyi and Samik Bandyopadhyay among others, speaking on the writer. This is interspersed with shots of the Malnad region where he was born and adaptations of his writing.
The idea of doing a film on the concepts of Mr. Ananthamurthy cropped up during a cultural workshop at Heggodu last year, said Mr. Kasaravalli. The film deals with the concepts of equality, spirituality and modernity. The title for the film was inspired by Mr. Visvanathan’s words. Renowned cinematographer G.S. Bhaskar’s camera work makes excellent play on light and shadow while the film’s music, which makes extensive use of flutes, is composed by Bindu Malini.
Writer Manu Chakaravarthy assisted in conceptualising the film.
To mark the event, Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy had also organised a photo exhibition on the writer’s life.