ACF Asian Cinema Fund

Post-Production Fund

2015 Post-Production Fund

LIST Leopard Do Not Bite
Category Asian Project
Project Leopard Do Not Bite
Director Prasanna JAYAKODY
Country Sri Lanka
Director's Profile Prasanna Jayakody won the Silver Pyramid for directing Sankara at the Cairo International Film Festival 2007. The film also secured awards for the Best Debut Director and the NETPAC Award (Best Asian Film) at the Kerala International Film Festival, 2007, and Jury special prize at the Turkey Silk Road film Festival. His second film Karma can be described as a ′cathartic release of emotions′. It was nominated for several international awards. His third film 28 was a subtle and acclaimed piece of cinematography and named Best Asian Film at the Amsterdam Film Awards in 2014. While his creative output has firmly placed Jayakody as one of the most creative and unusual film directors in Sri Lanka, his cinematic exploration amounts to a gaze informed by things that move around the social, psychological and philosophical terrain.
Gomari, a village lass slips out of a sermon at the temple and into the thick jungle to frolic with her lover but they both fall prey to a leopard. People in the nearby village listen to the monk for advice. All except the hunter who lives in the jungle. He provides the village with meat but he eats it not. It is the month of Vesak and the people from the nearby village plan to observe the precepts on Vesak full moon day. The hunter knows what happened to Gomari and entreats the Monk to cancel his scheduled program but the monk refuses and leads such matters to fate. The hunter, who never kills except as food for people, is forced to kill the leopard. When the monk and the hunter go into the jungle the next day, all they see are the rotting corpses of Gomari and the monk.
Director's Note
The great spiritual teachers of our time (Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mohamed and Lord Shiva) proposed their ideologies and philosophies for the sustenance and regeneration of the world. However, they were given a religious face and converted into political constitutions in a very short period after the ideas penetrated society. One way that rulers saw to control those who could not be subjugated by laws and political ideologies was to utilize these religions. The belief that we are an advanced society is an illusion; this simple trick of religion seems to have trapped the emotions of the multitudes and pervaded their thoughts.
In all popular religions, there is a concept of “life after death” through a concept called the soul. The penetration of this idea into the living human entity that determined a commercial idea of good and bad in the next birth or reincarnation of a person. This concept encouraged people to act irrationally, bound in eternal servitude to fear.
Regardless of how many religious leaders or philosophers exist on earth, is there any dharma other than that of the dharma of nature? “Is there any other reason for the existence of physical beings other than to eat and engage in propagation of their species?”
“Dadayakkaraya” or “Leopards don’t bite” is an attempt to explore this primordial law of nature.
2015 Busan International Film Festival - A Window on Asian Cinema
Still Cut