LGBT - Completed 2016

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player, and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

& Awards

BFI Flare 2016
    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • LGBT, Drama, Social issues
    • Countries
    • INDIA, USA
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 99 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jayan CHERIAN
    • Writer(s)
    • Jayan CHERIAN
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • Haris, a talented but struggling young painter, is on the verge of being catapulted to fame. As he prepares for his first solo exhibition, he persuades Vishnu, the object of his desire, to join him in the city. Vishnu is fully within the grip of his Hindu fundamentalist family, which limits his choices; his desire is muted. But he joins Haris and stays with him in his tiny rented apartment as a reluctant yet willing lover and model. It is perhaps no coincidence that he is a kabaddi player - kabaddi being a game in which members of two rival teams must enter and exit each others' delineated spaces alone, challenging the rival team to capture them. KaBodyscapes opens with Vishnu making precisely such a challenge to a rival team as Haris watches adoringly - and fails to return safely to his own space. It forebodes the tragic denouement of their romance. Parallel to the doomed lovers' tale runs the story of Haris' friend and confidante Sia, a white-collar worker in an export firm. Sia struggles both at home and at work. At home, she battles the misogynist restrictions her conservative Muslim relatives impose on her even as they deny her economic security. At work, she questions the violent and humiliating labour controls, and the dehumanizing surveillance. Like Haris and Vishnu, Sia's struggle is lonely and uphill, even when her friends rally around her in critical moments. Haris' profoundly cosmopolitan art, which reclaims the body and desire, invokes the Egyptian Ka, the spiritual body-double, thus seizing the body from its degradation and elevating it as the necessary vehicle of Ka. Vishnu, however reluctantly, awakens to his body and slowly learns to answer its desires. Sia protests against the misogynist punishments meted out to menstruating women workers, and in moments of solitude, explores her own body through intense and loving touch. Each of these defiant acts provokes severe punishment and for these young people, it marks the entry into adulthood in a challenging world.