‘The Last Leaf,’ a short-film based on a short story by O. Henry of the same name, is a bold presentation of the theme of sexuality and guilt, which may draw sharp reactions.
‘The Last Leaf’ is the fourth short-film by Sherry, whose ‘Kadaltheerathu’ (On the Seashore) won the best short-film award at the International Video Festival in the State. The 30-minute film, which was screened at the Press Club in Kannur on Wednesday, may remind viewers of the outrage caused by Deepa Mehta’s film ‘Fire’ on the relationship between two women.
‘The Last Leaf’ was a distant adaptation of O. Henry’s story, Sherry, who scripted and directed the film, said after its screening. The story of the passionate relationship between two nuns in a convent was blended in with the short story by the American writer.
Naura, a nun, is gripped by a passion for death like Johnsy in the short story who counts the last leaves on an ivy vine. The film features her relationship with Sneha, a newcomer in the convent, and the changes it brings to her life.
K.C. Varghese, an advocate of Liberation Theology, who appears in the role of a priest in the film and has been involved in the making of the film, said that ‘The Last Leaf’ was an attempt to question the concept of guilt, sexuality and virginity enforced by the religious establishment. Suppression of sexuality was fascism, he said adding that religion suppressed it by invoking fears of guilt and punishment.