Ka Bodyscapes, a film directed by Jayan Cherian about gay love which has battled government censorship since 2015, is set to be released today in India, a month after the Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality.
The film’s release marks a victory for gay visibility in the country.
The Deccan Chronicle reports: “The movie that discusses the life of three youngsters – an artist, his model partner and a women’s rights activist – revolves around their fight against identity and gender issues, religious extremism, capitalism, and pseudo-moralistic Malayali psyche.”
The Hindu reports: “Canned in 2015, the film had to wage a protracted battle lasting about two-and-a-half years to get clearance from the CBFC, where it was submitted for certification in April 2016. Constructed against the backdrop of the recent community movements that rustled up a public debate over the issues of purity, public display of affection, prevalent heteronormative standards, rise of the violent political right and gender violence and oppression stemming from religious fundamentalism, the film has a majority of its cast comprising social activists and non-regular actors.”
Cherian spoke to The Times of India about the striking down of Section 377, the law criminalizing homosexuality: “The apex court order is a major step in helping the queers assert their identity and help them emerge a political force. You know, it is a huge community comprising almost 15 percent of our population, but many of them were hesitant to come out of the closet because of the social stigma and also the fear of they being termed criminals, but this order will definitely change the scenario.”
The Hindu adds: “For Mr. Cherian, it has been a long and lone legal battle — against the CBFC, which worked as if ‘motivated’ to smother the film, and a nameless crowd of Hindutva forces, which unleashed an online hate campaign against the film and its maker for its political symbolism and what was over zealously thought to be an irreverent portrayal of the mythical character Hanuman.”
Check out the (wk-unfriendly) trailer for Ka Bodyscapes: