p a backer



P A Backer started as the assistant to director Ramu Kariat and later by producing the path breaking Malayalam film, Olavum Theeravum directed by P N Menon. His directorial debut was with Kabani Nadi Chuvannappol, a leftist political cinema that came out during the Emergency period. P A Backer's way of making political cinema inspired a new generation of filmmakers including John Abraham, Raveendran and T V Chandran.






Selected Filmography:


Kabani Nadi Chuvannappol - 1975
(When the Kabani River Turned Red)

A Leftist political film that came out during the Emergency and got into a tangle with the censor board, Kabani Nadi Chuvannappol inspired a new generation of directors and gave birth to a new genre of political films.

The film is a love story between a young woman and a radical political activist, who is declared to be criminal. The film ends with the police killing him and the woman learning about his death through the newspaper.

P A Backer won the State award for best director for this film.


Direction & Screenplay: P A Backer
Cast: T V Chandran, Raveendran, J Siddiqui, Shalini
Cinematography: Vipin Das
Music: G Devarajan



Manimuzhakkam - 1976
(Peal of Bells)

Backer's second film is based on a story by Sara Thomas.

Jose Paul, born as a Hindu is brought up in a Christian orphanage filled with Christian beliefs. He is later adopted by a rich Hindu, who renames him and urges to change the religion. Jose gets confused with his own identity when a woman rejected him for his complex past, another for him being a Hindu and yet another woman rejects him for being a Christian.

Manimuzhakkam won the State award for best film.


Direction & Screenplay: P A Backer
Cast: Hari, Cyril, Veeran, Prabhakaran, Urmila, Charulata, Vani
Cinematography: Vipin Das
Music: G Devarajan



Chuvanna Vithukal - 1976
(Red Seedling)

Bharati works as a prostitute and tries to secure a better life for her younger sister Lekha. But she is caught in a police raid and jailed while Lekha disappear with a dubious young man. After her release, Bharati plies her trade on the streets. A truck driver is kind to her and a new life seems possible when Lekha suddenly arrives on Bharati's door step, holding a baby, abandoned by her lover.


Direction & Screenplay: P A Backer
Cast: Shantakumari, Rehman, Zeenat, Nilambur Aisha, V V Anthony, Nilambur Balan
Cinematography: Vipin Das
Music: G Devarajan



Sanghaganam - 1979
(Chorus)

A symbolic sequel to Backer's political films such as Kabani Nadi Chuvannappol and Chuvanna Vithukal, Sanghaganam is structured as a quest for a true, reliable leader, called Gautama. The educated, cynical hero meets different men bearing the name, but all reject him until he meets and activist being tortured in a police cell. Only after he sees the activist being assaulted and murdered does the protagonist realise that he must take responsibility for his own actions and rebel against injustice rather than put his faith in a charismatic figure.




Direction: P A Backer
Screenplay: M Sukumaran
Cast: Sreenivasan, Ramu Kariat, P B Nambiar, Madhu Master, Rani Thankam
Cinematography: Vipin Das
Music: G Devarajan





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