Image Credit: Kummatty c/o Cineteca di Bologna


classified 15 S

Restored & Rediscovered


Sat 27 July 14:00

The Cube Microplex

Aravindan Govindan
Ramunni, Master Ashokan, Vilasini Reema, Kothara Gopalkrishnan, Sivasankaran Divakaran, Vakkil, Mothassi, Shankar
100 mins, Subtitled, 1979, India
Primary language
“Aravindan was a visionary director and ‘Kummatty’ is considered among his greatest work.” - Martin Scorsese

This mystical fairy tale, rooted in Keralan folklore, is sometimes translated to The Boogeyman in English. Whilst that’s not an entirely inaccurate way to describe the Pied Piper-esque behaviour of the titular figure, it does a disservice to the strange, genteel spell he casts, somewhere between sinister and sweet.

When Kummatty - a travelling troubadour-magician - arrives in a small rural village somewhere in central Kerala, a group of children become fascinated by him, his powers, and his songs. One day, he decides to turn them all into animals and disappears onto the next village.

Govindan Aravindan, one of the great directors of Malayalam-Indian film and a cinematic chronicler of his home state of Kerala, was as softly spoken as his films: hushed, lyrical, poetic depictions of life amongst the poor and marginalised. This restored version does full justice to his sumptuous use of colour and landscape, where the rolling hills and hazy sunsets become part of a much broader, cosmic, semi-mystical universe.

Restored by The Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project, The Film Heritage Foundation and Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, in association with General Pictures and the family of Govindan Aravindan. Funding provided by the Material World Foundation.

This screening is presented by Diwas Dewan in cooperation with The Cube cinema and its volunteers as part of Other Ways of Seeing supported by BFI awarding funds from National Lottery.

With an introduction by artist and filmmaker Diwas Dewan, a member of 'Out the Window’, volunteer at The Cube and a recent BEEF recruit.

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