This is an educational feature film based in Sri Lanka. It presents some concepts such as subjectivity, inter-subjectivity, objectivity, unity, multiplicity, composition, decomposition, and also the importance of concerning the ‘context’ when looking at an issue. Hence it can be considered as a film that that searches for a paradigm to understand the issue of ‘Visual Pollution’. After the screening, the director, Chandana, will delve into the purpose and intent behind the film.
Visual Pollution on human beings cannot be directly noted like the effect of water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, etc., on them. However perceptual experiments have proved that the visual elements present in the environment have the potential of arousing various moods and psychological reactions in the perceiver, and hence, they affect the perceiver at a conscious or subconscious level. Philosophical studies on visual pollution are either rare or nonexistent. In this background, this film attempts to initiate a philosophical discourse on ‘visual pollution’ through the story of a young couple who are inseparable in love and companionship.
The main character of the film is ‘Dharshana’ (meaning – Philosophy in Sinhalese) and his girlfriend is ‘Jeewani’ (meaning –life in Sinhalese). Accordingly, companionship between Dharshana and Jeewani symbolizes integration of philosophy into life.
‘Dharshana’ first identified the problem of ‘Visual Pollution’ as a subjective reality. However, in order to fight against visual pollution, he interpreted it as an objective reality. Even though Dharshana considered that ‘visual pollution’ is an objective reality, he did not have ‘objective yard sticks’ to assess the quality or the degradation of the visual environment. In search of yard sticks, to assess visual pollution, Dharshana describes the visual environment as an aesthetic composition and defined visual pollution as the degradation of the quality of the composition of the visual environment. To assess aesthetics and the pollution of the visual environment he borrowed established aesthetics concepts and principles. In other words, he tried to develop a paradigm for ‘aesthetics of visual environment’ and for ‘pollution of the visual environment’. There he made an attempt to prove that ‘visual pollution’ is an ‘objective reality’ that should be viewed from a single objective lens. For that purpose, he used the concepts of classical school such as ‘unity’, composition’ etc., and initiated his battle against visual pollution.
During the Dharashana’s battle against ‘Visual Pollution’, a classical artist came forward to support Dharshana’s view of ‘single reality’ about aesthetics and visual pollution. The concept of ‘single reality’ sits well with the ‘modernism’ too. In this background, another artist who had been influenced by post-modernism enters into the story. She ‘deconstructed’ the concept of ‘single reality’ and the concept of ‘multiple realities’ was put forward. As a result, the paradigm developed by Dharshana fall into a crisis. Ultimately he had to accept the post-modern view of the existence of multiple realities.
However, he felt that he cannot find a solution for visual pollution from the post-modern paradigm. Hence he wanted to go beyond post-modernism (that is towards post-post-modernism) and search for a new paradigm that would help his battle. During the search for a new paradigm, he went to a thick jungle to get an advice from a ‘Guru’. This symbolizes that Dharshana searching a new paradigm for nature. Through the ‘Guru’, Dharshana learnt the relative validity of realities; and also learnt that most of the objective realities are not ‘absolutely objective’ but they are only inter-subjective agreements. Further, the ‘Guru’ emphasized the importance of the term ‘context’, when selecting the most appropriate reality out of multiple realities. With this new knowledge, Dharshana continued his battle against ‘visual pollution’. Will he win . . . . . ?
2pm-4pm $15 (member)/ $20 (non-member)
Sunday, 29 Oct
(Note: The dialogues of the film are in Sinhalese (Main language in Sri Lanka). However, all the dialogues are indicated in ‘English sub-titles’.)
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