New York-based filmmaker Jayan Cherian second film, Ka Bodyscapes, based on the LGBT theme, is facing issues with the Censor Board. The film has reportedly been banned by the censor board. Dr Prathibha, Regional Officer of the Censor Board, Kerala, has issued a statement with the reasons, which range from ”ridiculing the Hindu religion” to ”obscenity”.
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.
The rejection letter sent to the filmmaker reads, ” The entire content of the film is ridiculing, insulting and humiliating Hindu religion, in particular, portraying Hindu Gods in a poor light. Derogatory words are used against women. The Hindu God Hanuman is shown as coming in the Books titled ‘I am gay’ and other home sexual books. The film offends human sensibilities by vulgarity, obscenity and depravity.”
The letter also pointed out problems with the movie showing a “lady masturbating” and “highlighting ‘gay’ by many ‘gay’ posters”. Cherian rejected the charges, saying characters in the movie had struck a Hanuman pose in a scene holding some insignia against Section 377, India’s colonial-era law that criminalises homosexuality.
Haris, a talented but struggling painter, 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 conservative Hindu family, which limits his choices. But he joins Haris and stays with him in his tiny rented apartment as a reluctant yet willing lover and model. Sia, a white-collar worker in an export firm, struggles both at home and at work. At home, she battles the misogynist restrictions, her conservative Muslim relatives impose on her, at work, she questions the violent and humiliating labor controls, and the dehumanizing surveillance and she protest against the misogynist punishments meted out to menstruating women workers. Each of these defiant acts provokes severe punishment and for these young people, it marks the entry into adulthood in a challenging world.