Girish Karnad and B.V. Karanth

Based on the novel by S.L. Byrappa, Vamsavriksha is directed by Girish Karnad and B.V. Karanth. It is a fine representative of the parallel cinema that appeared in Kannada cinema in the 1970s and early 1980s, and shone brightly for a while. The film recreates the novel and its setting (a Brahmin family in the area around Mysore) faithfully, in a manner imbued with realism and narrated with the innate aestheticism that marked this wave of films. Tackling themes from widow remarriage to caste and the notion of bloodline purity, the film brings alive a place and time where such conflicts were real and central; and the journey of the central characters reflects the transitions and choices they make while navigating these deep waters.