A film for the youth
WATCHING "KAMARAJ'' is a new experience. And it makes one want to meet the producer - to congratulate him on the fine effort and to find out what compelled him to take up this venture. It was an interesting session with A. Balakrishnan, who has also directed the film. Excerpts.
What inspired you to do a film on the life of Kamaraj?
It was not sudden. It was developing in my mind over a period of time. In the present circumstances, I felt a social compulsion to make a movie on this great leader. At the same time, I do not take any exclusive credit for the creation. Work of this kind can never be the achievement of an individual. It is an outcome of the dream of society as a whole. It is nothing but a reflection of an integrated social attitude. The creator is just a vehicle that expresses that attitude. So, the production of a film on Kamaraj is a social compulsion of our times.
The film industry churns out movies targeting only the younger generation as its audience. It requires courage to produce a movie of this kind ...
Well, I too have produced the movie keeping in mind the same young generation of our country. Even during the freedom struggle, the youth did not lag behind in going round the streets singing `Vande Mataram'. When Kamaraj joined the freedom movement he was only 13. It was the young who formed the core of the social reformation initiated by the Dravida Kazhagam. The student community formed the strong base for the great social movement.
This film will no doubt bring back memories in the older generation. Also it will make a strong impact on the younger generation, showing them the right path.
Is there any significance that the film is released at a time when the election is nearing?
No, it was not planned. As I explained earlier, the birth of a movie is the compulsion of the time. One thing I would like to stress here. "Kamaraj" was not made intending to support any particular political party or to undermine the interests of any other party. That is not the aim of this movie. Judge the political scene with Kamaraj as the yardstick. No party will stand scrutiny. If any political party tries to use this movie to achieve political ends, it can be condemned as a gross injustice done to the merits of that great leader.
What is that you want this movie to do to society?
I very much want this film to create a righteous anger in the minds of the people against the malpractices our political parties indulge in. We must go to the polling booth with the same vigour and sense of purpose as we go to fight for water. That will ring the death knell of unethical practices. This will also induce all the parties to change themselves. I will be happy if this happens.
About the challenges you encountered in making this a non-profit venture ...
Quite a lot. Pain beyond words. But, everything got erased from my mind, the day I completed the movie. My aim is now fulfilled. My heart is filled with satisfaction and a deep sense of gratitude, for all those who stood by me during the strenuous production process.
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR
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