» » Amma Ariyan (1986)

Short summary

The story revolves around the incidents following the death of a young Naxalite, upon whose death his friends travel to the village where his mother lives to inform her of the death of her only son.

The British Film Institute features Amma Ariyan in their list of Ten Best Indian movies ever made.

One of the first crowd funded films in Malayalam.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Pedora
    Abraham's film is a savage satire on political developments in Kerala during the turbulent seventies. It is in the form of a visual report to his mother in his village. The film spares no one and brutally exposes the hypocrisy and doublespeak of political leaders in a politically volatile part of India. Stark in its form and soul revealing in its content, it is a masterpiece by a deeply committed film maker who died very young and very tragically. A must see for lovers of political cinema.
  • comment
    • Author: iSlate
    The backdrop of "Amma Ariyan" takes place in a politically unstable time in Kerala in which leftist political extremism lead to the Naxalite movement, which garnered much support from the common people. The political struggle that occurred at the time led various artists to respond to it through furthering the struggle through art. John Abraham is famous for his nomadic lifestyle and radical nature and has made the film to reflect upon this. The political struggles the group encounters in their journey actually document what was occurring at the time. Through the use of frequent flashbacks, juxtapositions of nature, monologues and monochromatic cinematography, Abraham stays away from the conventional norms of filmmaking as far as possible.

    The motive behind making the film itself is based on Abraham and his friends wishing to make a people's film. They traveled from village to village performing skits and short plays asking for contributions. In a particular scene through a monologue, Abraham quotes the famous Guatemalan poet and revolutionary Otto René Castillo "One day the apolitical intellectuals of my country will be interrogated by the simplest of our people. They will be asked what they did when their nation died out slowly, like a sweet fire small and alone…", these line forms the essence of this film. Read the full review at
  • Credited cast:
    Kunhulakshmi Amma Kunhulakshmi Amma - Purushan's Mother
    Nilambur Balan Nilambur Balan
    Harinarayan Harinarayan - Suicide
    Joy Mathew Joy Mathew - Purushan
    Maji Venkitesh Maji Venkitesh - Paru
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