Playing at the first Ceylon International Film Festival yesterday, The Newspaper is a brilliantly rendered, utterly compelling journalist drama, with its nuanced themes relevant to the Western world in this arguably “post-truth era”. It is an archetypal hero’s odyssey of reputational redemption, based on a true story.
A Sinala man is accused of a traitorous bombing carried out on behalf of the Tamil resistance during Sri Lankan civil war. In retaliation, locals break his brother’s legs and force him to flee, with his elderly mother, to a remote village. Ten years later, Guna, sees a scrap of unattributed newspaper exonerating his brother. Guna sets out on a journey back to Colombo to seek a full retraction, with his only friend at this side and 20 rupees in his pocket. As they travel from newspaper to newspaper, the tattered news clipping a symbol of Guna’s tattered reputation, they meet indifference and class bias from the journalistic establishment which has no business interest in correcting the record.
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