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07. Agnisakshi, a Spiritual Film
      Indian Express, Jan 15th 1999

"Agnisakshi is a spiritual film and the fundamental issue is spiritual identity", says Shyamaprasad, director the Malayalam feature film Agnisakshi featured in the panorama section of the IFFI here.

Agnisakshi is based on a novel by Lalithambika Anterjanam, popular all over Kerala as a short story writer. She was 67 years old when she wrote her only novel, AgniSakshi. This novel fetched her many prestigious awards and she focuses on the dreary lives on the Namboodiri women who refuse to compromise on tradition. It is set during the freedom struggle and the director touches upon the social reform movements of the period.

According to Shyamaprasad, Agnisakshi is more than a period film and it tells the story of the transformation of a society caught between two worlds, the past and future. "This film was basically made to highlight the plight of the common man and poses many questions about the nature of happiness. It is not about the Namboodiri women alone. It has a sense of timelessness about it", he says.

Shyamaprasad, after getting his masters degree in media studies at the University of Hull, England, worked in Doordarshan for 8 years as programme officer and made many telefilms. On why he chose the Rajat Kapoor to play the lead role, he said Rajat Kapoor had the right mindset and fitted the role. "Anyway, many north Indian actors have acted in Malayalam films like Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Smitha Patil, etc. Malayalam cinema is that way not a closed cinema. We welcome outside talent", he quipped.
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