INDIAN PRIDE, INDIAN PREJUDICE, INDIAN LIBERATION

365 Without 377

365 days without 377: Celebrating Gay rights

Italy 2011

Director: Adele Tulli

 

The 377 in this title refers to the Indian Penal Code drawn up in the 1850s by the British imperial authorities.  The 365 refers to the celebration, at a Pride event in Mumbai, of the first anniversary of it being dropped.  It was done by India’s High Court in July 2009, after a legal campaign by LGBT activists.  It is not entirely certain that the Union authorities (India is a federation) may not Appeal (against) the decision.  Some Indian political parties think there are votes in homophobia.  There was an ecumenical outburst of fury against the High Court’s decision.  A (young and rather handsome) Hindu guru is see fulminating at full volume – on television – (India in a nut (not to put too fine a point on it) shell), like any Christian fundamentalist, or backward bishop, in our own bit of the planet.

The main character, a cross-dressing male, is seen preparing to attend the celebration.  He lives in a (possibly one-roomed) flat.  It seems to be physically disintegrating, but he has a nifty laptop computer.  He dances and sings while preparing himself and says that people in the street are not all that worried by Gay, or Trans people.  At the open air meeting-cum-disco (some aspects of ‘gay culture’ seem to be supranational…) many – but by no means most men are cross-dressed.   Being Indian dress it is very elegant.  One extremely elegant chap is extremely tall.  His mother is there to tell anybody who wants to hear that she is proud of him.

The other main character is a young woman who is a (Western-style) entertainer.  She is dressed in jeans and t-shirt, and is something of a sweet-faced ‘diesel dyke’.  She came out after hearing of the High Court’s decision, having been rather closeted prior to it.  Life, she feels will be easier, but telling her far-away mother will not be any easier.  (It would have been interesting if a village-dwelling woman or man could have been interviewed.  But presumably most such people migrate to the cities.  We are an urban phenomenon.)

An interesting film and well worth going out of one’s way to view.

Seán McGouran