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A foray into inhuman social realities of yesteryear

Special Correspondent
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Against the ills of society: A still from the film Bodhi. — Photo: By Special Arrangement
Against the ills of society: A still from the film Bodhi. — Photo: By Special Arrangement

Based on Kumaranaasan's well-known poem ‘Chandaala Bhikshuki,' which highlights the evil of untouchability and caste discrimination in the Indian society even as early as 2,500 years ago, G. Ajayan's movie ‘Bodhi' is expected to be released in Kerala soon after the Onam festival.

The 95-minute feature film is shot in the historical locale of Hampi in Karnataka as well as in the mountains of Idukki district. It took nearly four years for director G. Ajayan and producer Bhasi Irumpanam to complete the film, which features mostly new faces.

The film tells the story of the encounter between an untouchable girl, Matangi, and Budhist monk Ananda and in the process makes a foray into the inhuman social realities in the ancient city of Sravasti some 25 centuries ago. Matangi is bewildered by the monk's request for water to drink and tells him that if she gave the thirsty young man water it would ‘contaminate' him. But the young monk refuses to conform to the discriminating social norms of the time and accepts water from her. The film, which has undertones of subaltern history and politics, is also inspired by Ambedkar.

Puja Vijayan, dancer-actor, has donned Matangi's powerful role.

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