Veera Puran Appu
A land of ancient civilization, Sri Lanka was first colonized in A D 1515 by the Portuguese. Then by the Dutch. In A D 1815 the British ruled supreme. But the fires of Sinhala nationalism continued to smoulder. In particular, the rebellion of 1848 is unique in Sri Lanka’s long road back to freedom, in that it was essentially a mass uprising of ordinary people of the land, inspired and led not by the local nobility but by men drawn from among the people.
The principal figure of this rebellion is Veera Puran Appu, a young adventurer from the coastal town of Moratuwa, who goes to Kandy and leads at the age of 35, the humble peasants of the hill country, burdened by unjust taxes, in armed insurrection against the British raj, conquering the garrison fort of Matale, and finds himself proclaimed the people’s King of Kandy. The British declare martial law and crush the rebellion. Veera Puran Appu is captured and executed by the British. But within a year the British governor is replaced and the taxes lifted. Sound like romantic fiction? It is documented historical fact. It is the story of our film.
Director Lester James Peries
Producer Tyronne Fernando
Cast Ravindra Randeniya, Malini Fonseka, Joe Abeywickrama, Robin Fernando, Tissa Abeysekera, Alfred Berry, John Burgess, David Thackeray, Jean-Pierre Hautin
Duration 93 minutes