Director: Asoka Handagama
Writer: Asoka Handagama
Producers; Iranthi Abeyasinghe, Laurent Aleonard
Music; Harsha Malakanda
Piyumi Samaraweera ... Magistrate
Ravindra Randeniya ... Retired Judge
Saumya Liyanage ... Museum Guard 1
Jayani Senanayake ... Housemaid
Isham Samzudeen ... Magistrate's son
Sri Lankan government bans local film Aksharaya (Letter of Fire);
...........Written and directed by Asoka Handagama, the movie depicts a series of psychosexual traumas within an upper middle class Sri Lankan family—a female magistrate (Piyumi Samaraweera), her elderly husband, who is a former High Court judge (Ravindra Randeniya), and their 12-year-old son (Isham Samzudeen). It explores the questions of incest, rape, murder and other dark secrets within the family and their impact on the young boy......
Aksharaya, which was partially funded by Fonds Sud Cinema of France and shown at festivals in Spain and Japan last year, was initially given an "adults only" rating by Sri Lanka's censorship body, the Public Performance Board (PPB), and cleared for local screenings in early April. Soon after, however, the minister for culture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana suddenly claimed the film production involved child abuse and ordered the PBB to reverse its approval.
........Another reason for the government sensitivity to Aksharaya is that it delves into the moral degeneration and corruption of sections of the Sri Lankan ruling elite, in this case the judiciary. According to Handagama, if the minister's allegations of child abuse cannot be sustained, the government plans to initiate contempt of court action against the director for bringing the judiciary into disrepute.
...............Aksharaya is Handagama's fourth feature—previous works include Chanda Kinnari , Me Mage Sandai (This is my Moon)  and Thani Thatuwen Piyambanna (Flying with one wing) . They all attempt to explore social and sexual issues that previous Sri Lankan filmmakers have been reluctant to deal with.......
[World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org]