Director : Adoor Gopalakrishnan / India / 107 / Malayalam / 1985
A prospering tile factory is changing life and attitudes in a small town in Kerala. Mechanised production has brought industrial labour into headlong collision with the management. A prolonged strike results, with neither side yielding, Sreedharan, a dedicated revolutionary and worker of the Communist Party, is the trade union leader at the factory. He has a charismatic hold on the town’s labourers. Sreedharan is found badly beaten up one night by an old farmer. He begins to live in his house; the farmer’s widowed daughter becomes his mistress. The proprietor of the factory is killed—and Sreedharan is prime suspect. The police embark on a fierce round-up. Sreedharan and his comrades go underground.
Years pass. Sreedharan is believed to be dead. His comrades have returned in the light of a more liberal political environment.
The party which Sreedharan so selflessly supported and served is no longer united in its ideology or its leadership—Its rank and file is split. The binding factor between them is the memory of Sreedharan.
As if in answer to their prayers and wishes, Sreedharan suddenly returns. His family, his followers at once turn to him for ‘ succour and strength, But Sreedharan proves to be a bitter disappointment. His presence now is an unsavoury one. All the same, the memory of his hallowed past has a hold on people. Rival factions vie with each other to use his name.