Wednesday, June 27, 2012

365 without 377

365 without 377, dir. Adele Tulli, 2011, Italy, 53 min. 
Friday 6/15, 7:15 @ Roxie, 365W15R, in Hindi and English with English subtitles
screened with Queen of my Dreams (short; see “Fun in Girls’ Shorts 2012” for review)

(Mostly) Celebrating the
end of India’s Section 377
Traditional Hindu society had no particular taboo against homosexuality, but the British colonial rulers introduced it into the penal code in 1862. (Indeed, British colonies across Asia including Hong Kong, Malaya, Brunei, Burma, and Singapore adopted similar bans against “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” often under the same section number.) However, on 2009-07-02, the High Court of Delhi struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, saying that it violated the constitutional guarantees of life, liberty, and equality. Although it is theoretically possible that the Supreme Court of India could take up the issue and even reinstate Section 377, that possibility becomes ever more remote as we approach the third anniversary of the ruling. (The situation is roughly analogous to a decision in the U.S. by the D.C. Court of Appeals, with the Supreme Court declining to review it.)

In 2010, on the one-year anniversary of the landmark court ruling, a massive celebration was launched in Mumbai, and that celebration is the subject of this documentary. It’s the story of a monumental achievement, told with abundant grace, humor, and fire in the belly, primarily focused on the personal stories of a lesbian, a gay man, and a hijra (transgender person), with footage from the festivities. Strongly recommended, a must-see.

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