PPB demand to censor parts of ‘Leader’ is unfair: Ranjan

By Shifani Reffai

(27th Nov DM)
Popular actor and film director Ranjan Ramanayake said the Public Performance Board’s demand that parts of his controversial movie Leader be censored is unfair and impinges his freedom of artistic expression as a Director of movies.

The star who often plays a main role in the movies he directs was accompanied by producer of Leader, Bevan Perera, in his declaration against movie censorship at a press conference held at the Holiday Inn yesterday (26). The movie has been the subject of controversy as it portrays a satirical parody of Sri Lankan politics, bribery and corruption. The movie begins with a comical parody musical of VAT scandals and politicians, with characters resembling popular political leaders dancing and singing to a cynical view of Sri Lanka’s poor political and moral structure referred to as a ‘comedy country’. This clip has particularly been ordered by the Public Performance Board to be censored from the general distributed version of the movie.

“World renowned movies such as W. and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 were aimed at exposing the truth about American politics, but they were not censored for doing so. Instead, they were glorified and some were even considered for the Cannes Film Festival,” said Ramanayake, Director of previously popular movies Parliament Jokes and One Shot One.

Additional clips that were to be censored were aired at the press conference, while Ramanayake explained that censoring these scenes not only abused artistic freedom but altogether disturbed the continuity  of the movie.