The Reluctant Wife: Ginnen Upan Seethala and Gendering Revolution
Keywords:Sri Lanka, Gender, Film, Revolution
This paper sets out to examine the politics of representation of the biographical film, Ginnen Upan Seethala (2018), which focuses on the life and times of Rohana Wijeweera, a rebel leader who led two failed insurrections in post-independence Sri Lanka. It argues that while the film seemingly exonerates the leader and the movement, through a discourse of domesticity, it simultaneously engages in a nuanced representation of Chithrangani Wijeweera, the wife of Rohana Wijeweera, a woman who has been positioned at the margins of the masculinized historical record of the JVP party. While such records have largely ignored testimony in which Chithrangani constructs herself as a reluctant wife who is subordinated to the dominant ideology of the party and its leader, the film provides her a more expansive and empathetic role and thereby bears witness to her tale of victimhood and survival, unraveling how patriarchal political conquest coopts women as strategic sites of political domination.
Copyright (c) 2021 Kanchanakesi Warnapala
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).