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The life and times of a humanist

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CAMARADERIE: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan greets the former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer on the occasion of the release of a documentary on his life, in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Vipinchandran
CAMARADERIE: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan greets the former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer on the occasion of the release of a documentary on his life, in Kochi on Sunday. Photo: Vipinchandran

Renu Ramanath

KOCHI: This is a documentary that chronicles the journey of a life well lived, for the benefit of humanity. `Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer - The Living Legend,' directed by Binuraj Kalapeetom, tracks the life and times of the former Supreme Court judge and human rights activist V.R. Krishna Iyer through nine decades.

The film delineates the journey of Vaidyanathapuram Rama Ayyar Krishna Iyer from the small village of Vaidyanathapuram in Palakkad district to the State Cabinet, to the highest seats of justice in the country and to the mantle of one of India's most venerated fighters for the welfare of humanity.

The special release of the documentary was held at E.M.S. Memorial Town Hall on Sunday. Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan released the master copy. Mr. Krishna Iyer himself received the first copy. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Achuthanandan said the description `The Living Legend' aptly suited Mr. Krishna Iyer.

A.X. Joseph, biographer of Mr. Iyer, has written the script. The film starts with scenes from his childhood at Kalpathy in Palakkad where he was born, and goes on to explore the various places associated with his life.

For the eminent jurist, the making of the film itself turned out to be an apt occasion for a journey down memory lane.

He was born in Sekharipuram village, his mother's native place, and grew up in Vaidyanathapuram.

The film revisits all the places associated with Mr. Iyer's childhood and youth. His classmates and sister Ranganayaki recall their early memories of him.

Old photographs are used well in the film to recapture the story of a bygone era. Still photographs accompany the commentary on the significant events in the history of Kerala that are intertwined with Mr. Iyer's life such as the formation of the first elected Communist Government of Kerala in which he was the Minister for Law. Mr. Iyer himself recalls the Vimochana Samaram unleashed by the Opposition and religious groups against the Government and the futile attempts made by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to defuse the crisis that led to the dismissal of that Government.

Produced by Sabu Kidangil for Lakshmi Creations, the documentary was shot by N.V. Swaminathan. Nikhil Venu has edited it. The research work was done by Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi.

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