Baddegama (1981)

Run Time - 130 min.  |   Countries - Sri Lanka  |  
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It is the turn of the 20th century in a small Sri Lankan town and a father is worried about the future of his two maturing daughters -- he does not want them to marry yet, but they are obviously attractive. The father's worries are well-founded as the older daughter is soon forced into a marriage to the brother-in-law of the mayor. At the same time, a shaman/witch doctor is after the younger daughter and when neither she nor her father agree to his advances, he uses other means to achieve his ends. The father is in the jungle one day when he has a fit, brought on by demons he thinks he sees, and so he relents finally to the shaman's demands. His daughter, however, refuses to stay with the witch doctor and runs away -- and is murdered as a result. The father's grief is only heightened when trouble comes to his remaining child. Although the older daughter is married, a landowner wants her as his wife and ends up sending her husband to jail on a false charge of theft, where he dies. Her father is determined to vindicate his daughters and shoots both the landowner and the mayor to death. As the story reaches its final scenes, the tragedy of the man and his daughters takes on an increasingly universal symbolism.

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Keywords

child, daughter, family, father, grief, landowner, marriage, marriage-arranged, murder, parent, revenge, robbery, runaway [from home], Shamanism