Amma Ariyan - 1979
The first film of the Odessa Collective and the last by John Abraham, Amma Ariyan was made as a people's film by the money obtained from the ordinary people of Kerala.
Purushan sets out for Delhi for his research, promising his mother to write to her wherever he is. The film is in the form of a letter written by Purushan to his mother. On his way he finds a dead body, which he later identifies as that of Hari's. Purushan decides to go Hari's house to inform his mother about her son's death. On his way he meets some of Hari's friends, and the character Hari in the film unfolds as the memories of these friends about him, mostly conflicting. They too join Hari in his journey. As they reach Hari's house, the small group that started the journey develops into a crowd of young men. Finally they inform Hari's mother about her son's death.
A complex film, Amma Ariyan is made in a documentary form interweaving fact and fiction. The political history of Kerala is narrated during the film occasionally and also John filmed actual leftist strikes for Amma Ariyan.
Direction & Screenplay: John Abraham
Also read: Re-visiting classics: Amma Ariyan