I Am

I Am

85 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Asian / Pacific Islander, Butch / Femme Issues, Coming Out, Documentary, Gay, Homophobia, Lesbian, Parenting / Family, South Asian
Program: Documentaries

What do parents say when they find out their child is gay? What if they never get the chance to respond? Eleven years after her mother’s death, award-winning lesbian filmmaker Sonali Gulati returns to her hometown of New Delhi, India, to clean out her house and make peace with the parent she never came out to. In her meditative and personal new documentary, I Am, Gulati interviewed twenty-one Indian families over the course of five years to unravel the intricacies and difficulties of coming out in India.

From Balli, who was kidnapped and threatened by her girlfriend’s family, to Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, the first openly gay royal who had a nervous breakdown before publicly coming out to the press, the dangerous pressures of a homophobic society are undeniable in Gulati’s interviews. However, bright spots on the horizon dawn: Piali and her girlfriend walk the dog with Piali’s mother, Rituparna finds acceptance in her chosen family, and Aditya marries his partner with his parents’ sweet and spiritual blessing: “The seal of God is stamped on every creation.” Homosexuality was decriminalized in India just two years ago, when Section 377 was overturned after years of protest, and Gulati has been organizing the South Asian queer rights movement for over a decade.

Preceded by
Time Out
I Am will be preceded by Time Out, a story about a teen who is curious about his newfound attraction to girls—and about the sexual orientation of the older brother he idolizes. — NATALIE MULFORD

Text Voting Codes:

I Am: D314
Time Out: S630

Co-presented by:

3rd I South Asian Films

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