Discussions around homosexuality in India, with reference to Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, does not include any deliberation on the right to love. In December 2013, the Supreme Court of India, put aside an earlier verdict by the High Court, and re-criminalized homosexuality and consensual relationships between same-sex partners. In light of this, a documentary titled, In the Mood for Love, produced by PSBT (Public Service Broadcasting Trust) and Doordarshan seeks to firmly put the idea of love back into the discourse of homosexuality in India.
In the whole discussion around Section 377 and homosexuality in India, the emphasis on affective relationships and the roles they play in peoples’ life is missing. The film seeks to uncover different ideas around love, and what it means to people in their lives. At the same time the film attempts to have the subjects also reflect on the LGBTQ movement in India and the cleavages within the movement, some exclusionary practices which alienate people, and what perhaps could be some of the ways in which the movement can become more inclusive.
The film is a story of people who have lived and loved, and explores queer love and relationships, togetherness, love, sexuality and illegality in India. It documents stories of individuals who turn an inward gaze and reflect on themselves, the community and the movement. Foregrounding their lives and work, the film explores their negotiations with everyday realities.
We, the film’s directors, Sandeep and Aakriti are alumni of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. We are trained in film and television production, and have worked together on varied video, animation and design projects. Sandeep is an independent filmmaker and works in collaboration with NGOs and institutions, and has taught photography and filmmaking. Aakriti is an Assistant Professor at the University of Delhi and teaches journalism, media and culture studies.
The film will premiere at the Open Frame, on 20th September, Sunday at 5:20 pm, in the Auditorium at India International Centre.