THE TREASURE (1970) [Feature]

Sri Lanka (MIFF 1973 )

The work of Lester James Peries has an enviable reputation in Ceylon, but is, as yet, little known elsewhere. This film, his first to be shown in Australia should provide a more than adequate introduction. It deals with the fragile nature of human relations in a style somewhat reminiscent of Satyajit Ray's films.

Framed in a flashback, the story tells of a man who had learned from an old manuscript of a treasure concealed in a cave, and which can only be obtained by the sacrifice of a human being. In need of money for his family. he chooses to kill his bride, but before he can carry out his plan, he falls dangerously ill.

The film balances the man's love and sense of honour against his obsession with the possibilities with which life seems to be taunting him, and provides for a complex weaving of the threads of human drives.

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