Song of Ceylon

United Kingdom, 1935

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A poetic interpretation of the life and customs of the people of Ceylon, showing the contrast between the culture of the Singalese of the island, and the western economic outlook. One of the most famous of the GPO Film Unit’s productions, this film helped to build the reputation of the British documentary film movement. ‘The Song of Ceylon’ is in four sections, 1. The Buddha, 2. The Virgin island, 3. The Voice of commerce, 4. The Apparel of God. Sponsored by the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board. Music by Walter Leigh. Photographed by Basil Wright.



Basil Wright

production company

John Grierson

GPO Film Unit






Black and White

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