In Malabar, making and unmaking of a whole new genre of ‘home cinemas’

Home cinema, Kerala, cinema, home videos
Home videos, shot mostly in rural settings in which the characters speak the local dialect, are phenomenally different from the mainstream Malayalam cinema | Image - Prathap Ravishankar

The story revolves around a rich man and his prodigal son, their strained relationship with the poor villagers and the way the two exploit them. The rich man ignores his bedridden father and treats him like a burden.

Two years later, the rich man himself falls sick due to kidney failure. But his son follows the father’s path and refuses to donate a kidney. The rich man realises his mistakes and hopes that God will forgive all his sins.

The village priest, however, advises him that God can forgive only the sins done to him and not those done to the fellow human beings. The only way now for the rich man is to do away with his immorally acquired wealth and to give it back to those who deserve it. The rich man’s son is furious and warns his father against listening to the priest. The son later dies in an accident.

This is the central theme of the first-ever Malayalam ‘home cinema’. Directed by Salam Kodiyathoor, who is known also as the ‘father of home cinema’, the movie, You Made Me a Lunatic, was shot in 1999 and released in 2000. Home cinema, also locally popular as home videos, is a unique genre in Malayalam cinema which has been quite popular in the Malabar region since the early 2000s.  These are full-length feature films, but locally made and screened.

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on and and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
plans start from Rs. 99
Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on