When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 12 August 2012

Ran Muthu Duwa (Island of Treasures), the first colour Sinhala feature film made in Sri Lanka, was released exactly 50 years ago this week, on 10 August 1962.

Ran Muthu Duwa was a trail-blazer in the Lankan cinema industry in many respects. It not only introduced colour to our movies, but also showed for the first time the underwater wonders of the seas around the island.

It was different from many formulaic Sinhala films made since 1947, and included elements of underwater treasure, ancient legends, human treachery and, predictably, some romance. It may not have been great art but was a box office hit. An estimated one million people saw it during the first release: a tenth of the island’s then population.

But the cultural influence of the film went well beyond…

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