A Song of Ceylon still 2 1800x1200 c center

Film Screening: Laleen Jayamanne A Song of Ceylon (1985)

Watch Laleen Jayamanne’s A Song of Cey­lon (1985), along­side a spe­cial­ly com­mis­sioned response by artist and film pro­gram­mer Natasha Them­biso Ruwona.

From Tuesday 5 to Sunday 10 April, watch Laleen Jayamanne’s A Song of Ceylon (1985) streaming on-demand via this web page, alongside a specially commissioned response by artist, research and film programmer Natasha Thembiso Ruwona.

A Song of Ceylon is a study of colonialism, gender and the body. It stages and interprets a Sri Lankan ritual of spirit possession and cure, and takes the form of a stylised non-narrative film that presents an audio-visual montage of ‘possessed bodies’. Its title refers to Basil Wright’s 1934 documentary The Song of Ceylon about the then British colony of Ceylon, renamed Sri Lanka in 1972. Invoking the idea of absence and of history withdrawn, Jayamanne’s film pursues a rite of the body.

This screening forms part of Cinenova’s new project The Work We Share – a programme of 10 newly digitised films from the Cinenova collection, captioned by Collective Text, alongside 10 new artist response commissions and events presented at organisations in the UK throughout 2021 and 2022.