Disability and desire are usually not mentioned in the same sentence, but at least two recent documentaries have explored the romantic and sexual needs of men and women with physical and mental conditions. Both films have been produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust. Arun Chadha’s award-winning documentary Mindscapes …of Love and Longing, made in 2011, consists of interviews with several characters. A married couple who met at a special needs school discuss their feelings for each other. A 21 year-old woman who has Down Syndrome talks about the kind of man who would like to go out with.
Shweta Ghosh’s Accsex, made in 2013, gets four women to talk about their growing-up years, professional ambitions, their reactions to the way they are treated in society, and their feelings about their self-image and romantic and sexual needs. The interviews are interspersed with animation. Kanti, who has leg trouble and uses a stick, talks about the proposals that came her way after her father advertised in the matrimonial columns. “I am not a princess, but men should understand me and not put my disability before me,” she says.
Both documentaries can be bought from PSBT and websites such as Itokri.
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