Not God’s own country: The cinema of Adoor Gopalakrishnan | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1059-440X
  • E-ISSN: 2049-6710



Adoor Gopalakrishnan, India’s most distinguished contemporary film-maker, has made eleven award-winning films and over 40 documentaries, most of which are set in his native state of Kerala, in southern India. A 1965 graduate of the Film and Television Institute of Pune, his first film, Swayamvaram/One’s Own Choice (1972), heralded the New Wave in Kerala. It is Kerala’s abrupt displacement from a princely feudal state into twentieth-century modernity that forms the backdrop to most of his complex narratives about identity, selfhood and otherness in which innocence is often at stake and characters grapple with their consciences. The films deal with eviction and dislocation, with the precarious nature of space, and the search for home. They are also about power and its abuse within a destructive patriarchy and the abject conditions of servility it breeds. At the same time, these narratives are usually placed within the larger frameworks of guilt and redemption in which the hope of emancipation – moral, spiritual and creative – is a real one.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Adoor; Indian New Wave; Kerala; Malayalam; narratives of dislocation; outsider
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