“Human beings are unable to be honest with themselves about themselves. They cannot talk about themselves without embellishing”. – Akira Kurosawa
Kurasowa’s ‘Rashomon’, the most influential film of all times has created endless discussion among the audience about the psychological ‘Rashomon Effect’ regarding the truth of murder in the film. The characters in the film (the villain, the eye witness, the rape victim and the ghost of the deceased) all tell the same story differently, but none of them are necessarily lying. Rashomon is a psychological experiment about cinematic representations, in which the audience members will all come to their individual conclusions and nobody will be wrong. Kurasowa has been accepted globally since the release of Rashomon as one of the most “Western” Japanese film makers. And through this film he has brought out Japan’s cinema and human culture into worldwide acclaim. Art in society is portrayed in this manner. Cinema has truly played a major role in changing our society. It gives us more perspectives. We get to know the world by this means. Films strive to document emotions of a man, geography, languages, culture, disasters and so on. It acts as an instrument for a better understanding of human nature.
In 1979, youngsters like T.N Joy, Adv Ashraf Padiyan, Professor Keasavan Vellikulangara, K.H Hussain, Adv. T.K Prabhakaran, Kutty Kodungallur and Fort Krishnakumar brought out the scope of cinema culture to the forefront. It gave birth to the Kodungallur Film Society. Unlike today with digital projectors and torrent it was not an easy task to screen movies of different languages through a 16mm projector in those days. Earlier, film societies were the only window to world cinema. But with modern technology many classics are now available to the public for free with which you can even make your own film festival. In such a scenario, film society has renewed its actions and duties. Right from that time to the present, film society has undergone considerable changes.
Apart from regular film screenings on every Friday, the Kodungallur Film Society plays a vital role in the socio-cultural aspects of Kodungallur. The film society institutes a living legend award with a cash prize of Rs 25000 to the pioneers, who have made seminal contribution to Malayalam cinema. Annually it conducts a film festival and a seminar. An important event in the history of film society was the organization of the play ‘khasakkinte Ithihasam’ directed by Deepan Sivaraman. National Film Festival of Kerala organized by Kerala Chalachitra Academy, which was not held during the UDF government was reinstated by the academy with the boost of Kodungallur Film Society. In recent days the legal fight played by the film society is noteworthy. They challenged the Supreme Court order that made it mandatory for cinema halls across the country to play the national anthem before every show. Their challenge was a bold step. An apex court order in last month states playing the national anthem before screening of a movie is not mandatory anymore, reversing an order issued more than a year ago. This can be seen as moment of cheer and pride in film society’s efforts to challenge the propriety of impositions. Kodungallur is a place steeped in history. Kodungallur, even though a small town, has contributed immensely to cultural development of Kerala. This role has been taken up and followed by the Kodungallur Film society till present. In a society embodied with communalism and political violence, Kodungallur Film Society’s intervention can be seen as an epitome of cultural diversity and pluralism.