Burning Birds: A family’s struggle to overcome odds | Sunday Observer

Burning Birds: A family’s struggle to overcome odds

Burning Birds, a local film of international fame, directed by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara is now screened in the Rythma cinema circuits.

The plot of the film is based on a family living in a most rural area in the Eastern Province. The head of the family was murdered by an unidentified armed gang during the last phase of the 1989 terror. The film depicts the struggle sustained by the mother Kusum (Anoma Janadari) and eldest daughter (Samanalee Fonseka) to keep alive eight children.

Director Sanjeewa Pushpakumara elaborately explains the efforts on the part of the widow and the other members of the family to eke out a living, while overcoming the difficulties imposed on them by society. Kusum bravely faces all the risks she encounters in the many odd jobs she performs, to ensure the sustenance of her eight children and her mother in law. Meanwhile, she is compelled to face various critical situations.

Against this background, ‘Burning Birds’ has succeeded in presenting a discourse with depth, and yet, simple. The manner in which the director presents the story through the aesthetic cinema, is praiseworthy.

Camera direction, lighting, and art, which are worthy of mention have contributed to make ‘Burning Birds’ an artistic creation. Local as well as foreign technical expertise has helped to make it a success. The cast includes Anoma Janadari, Samanalee Fonseka, Chandani Seneviratne, Mahendra Perera and Dasun Pathirana.

The film has won awards at many venues, namely, the 15th International Film Festival, the Forum on Human Rights in Geneva and the 17th International Film Festival, Tokyo Filmex, as well as at other international forums.

Sanjeewa Pushpakumara’s maiden creation, Flying Fish is followed by Burning Birds, the script of which in book form is now a Sarasavi publication.

Burning Birds is a beautiful film which should not be missed by Sri Lankan fans.