Sri Lanka to reincarnate famous bridge in bid to attract tourists
After unveiling plans to dam one of Sri Lanka’s major rivers, the national electricity board has announced plans to build a bridge over that same waterway to replicate the iconic structure that was blown up in an iconic World War II film in a bid to appea
Sri Lanka's national electricity board has announced plans to build a bridge over a waterway it plans to replicate an iconic structure featured in a World War II film.
Its detonation is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Now, 57 years after it was blown to smithereens, authorities in Sri Lanka plan to rebuild the Bridge on the River
Kwai to assuage the anger among locals over a controversial dam project.
While the World War II epic was supposedly set in Japaneseheld Burma (present-day Myanmar), it was mostly filmed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) between 1956 and 1957, less than a decade after independence from Britain.
The final scene in which a British officer played by Alec Guinness blows up a rail bridge that his fellow prisoners of war have just built was shot at sleepy Kitulgala, two hours' drive from the capital Colombo.
In recent years, the village has become a magnet for adrenalin junkies who can white-water raft down the river, whose real name is the Kelani.
So when Sri Lanka's Electricity Board unveiled plans to dam the river as part of an $82 million hydro-electric project, there was widespread dismay among locals whose livelihoods depend on tourism.
But in a bid to soften the blow, the electricity board has announced that it will pay for the reconstruction of a new wooden bridge, built on the original's foundations, to attract fans
Tourists go white-water rafting on the Kelani River at Kitulgala, some 50km east of Colombo, where a key scene from the 1957 film, The Bridge on the River
Kwai was filmed.