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aka Somewhere aka And There Was a Village 1986 112’ col Malayalam d/s G. Aravindan pc Suryakanti Film Makers c Shaji N. Karun lp Nedumudi Venu, Srinivasan, Thilakan, Vineeth, Krishnankutty Nair, Surendra Babu, Kunhandi, Chandran Nair, Soorya, Sitara

Set in the 50s in a remote part of Travancore Cochin, the story tells of a village, rather like the one in Aravindan’s Thampu (1978), threatened by electrification. Although the absurdities and the small-minded hypocrisies of village life are depicted with humour, the film produces a strange impression since the conclusion it reaches, that life is better without electricity, also condemns the very existence of cinema as a legitimate means of expression. The key to the film can be found in Aravindan’s statement that in the small village where he was born there was no electricity until he was ten years old, and that he felt nostalgic for those pre-pubertal times marked by the memory of people moving about with torches.