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Movie I AM wins big at KASHISH, Mumbai’s International Queer Film Festival

Bollywood director Onir's "I Am" won the award for the Best Narrative in a Feature Film at the second Mumbai International Queer Film Festival. Onir who made his presence felt within the Indian Cinema narrative with his very first film, My Brother Nikhil. Onir’s latest, "I Am" which is a film quartet which breaks every single convention of mainstream Indian Cinema.

Avatar of Alessia Valenza

1st August 2011 14:21

Alessia Valenza | ILGA Asia


Onir’s latest, I Am is a film quartet which breaks every single convention of mainstream Indian Cinema. It deals with four separate narratives all within a common strand which explores various (un) conventions of human and social interaction ranging from sperm donation (I Am Afia), child sexual abuse (I Am Abhimanyu), Ethnic strife in Kashmir (I Am Megha) and Queer rights (I Am Omar).

I Am is a feature-length documentary film that chronicles the journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns to Delhi, eleven years later, to re-open what was once home, and finally confronts the loss of her mother whom she never came out to. As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family  truly means, in a landscape where being gay was until recently a criminal and punishable offense.

Most films which deal with homosexuality often take recourse to the assertion of heterosexuality (Dostana, Kal Ho Na Ho) but Onir does no such thing with I am Omar. He questions heteronorms and shapes a new narrative of male desire within the Queer Space. The silent monolith of Queer desires is dismantled and there is a sense of jubilation when Jai  (played by Rahul Bose) shouts ‘We are legal now.’