365 without 377

One of the legacies of British colonial rule in India was section 377, which criminalized homosexuality. Almost 150 years after it became part of India’s penal code, section 377 was repealed and India’s LGBT community rejoiced. 365 without 377 documents the repeal’s one year anniversary, and follows three members of India’s queer community as they celebrate.

Pallav recalls feeling suicidal in his youth, and says that what is most important is the public acknowledgement “that we exist.” Beena tells the story of a love affair that ended when her girlfriend was pressured into getting married. “I don’t want to move abroad,” she tells the camera. “I want to be acceptable here.” And finally Abheena argues passionately (to the camera and in a dance performance) that hijiras like her shouldn’t be limited to sex work and begging. Progress does not come easy; in television footage that bears a depressing resemblance to Fox News, assorted religious leaders vehemently condemn the repeal. The film’s gorgeous cinematography captures Mumbai’s vibrant life, making the city a kind of fourth character. The film offers a vivid glimpse into a community and country on the cusp of change, and notes that conservative religious leaders have mounted a legal fight against the repeal.

— MONICA NOLAN

In Hindi and English with English subtitles.

PRECEDED BY:

The Queen of My Dreams dir Fawzia Mirza and Ryan Logan 2011 USA 3 min
As a young girl, Fawzia Mirza fell under the spell of Bollywood heroines and their promise of love and feminine perfection; as an adult, she re-imagines it in a queer light.


Co-presented by:
3rd I South Asian Films

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